Debt Collector Harassment in Ohio
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Ohio there are two things to consider when thinking about debt collection: harassment and misrepresentation. The presence of either of these things constitutes debt collector harassment and may require you to take legal action against the collector.
Debt Collector Harassment in Ohio
Ohio 19 News reports that the Attorney General recently brought suit against debt collection companies that are abusing and harassing Ohio residents. Under Ohio Statute, harassing behaviors such as profane language, refusing to verify the identity of a collection agent, and threats of violence or coercion all constitute harassment. It is also illegal for a collection agency to try and collect a debt that has already been paid.
If you are a victim of any of these examples of harassment, you may have a right to sue the debt collector for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). An experienced Ohio attorney can help you identify your options and build a strong case.
Misrepresentations by a debt collector refer to someone making false claims or accusations or using false, deceptive, or misleading practices. This also includes misrepresenting any debt you may have. See some examples of this and other Illegal Debt Collection Practices below:
- The amount of money you owe
- False threats saying they will have you arrested
- Saying they are an attorney if they aren’t one
- Threats to do something that the debt collector has no intention of doing
- Threats to take actions that are not within the confines of the law
If you think any Ohio debt collectors may have misrepresented themselves to you, it’s important to remember that you have options. Get in contact with an attorney that understands debt collector law.
Who Are Debt Collectors?
Most people don’t know what a debt collector is until they have one incessantly calling them about paying off debt. So, who are debt collectors? Who do they work for?
Collectors come from a debt collection agency that works with creditors who are owed debts. If you have outstanding debt in Ohio , such as credit debt, unpaid loans, and personal loans, your creditor may contact a debt collection agency. This agency then assigns a debt collector to your case.
If you have fallen behind in payments, you may have to deal with a debt collection agency such as Turbo Debt recovery, Ohio Recovery Service LLC, or Advanced Capitol Solutions. The Better Business Bureau can provide you with a list of accredited debt collection agencies in Ohio.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Ohio?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Ohio debt collectors are harassing you, then it’s important to become familiar with the Basics of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from collection agencies. If a debt collector violates any of the harassment or misrepresentation rules, the victim has a right to sue the collector for violation of the FDCPA.
Step 2: Collect Records
If you’ve been harassed in Ohio by a debt collector, it’s important to gather evidence. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office states that a written letter to a debt collection agency asking them to stop contacting you must be respected. However, if the harassment continues you should try to keep records if at all possible. Make sure to send the stop contact letter by certified mail so you’ll have a receipt. You should also keep a record of your payments, or pay from a debit account so there is a record with the bank. In addition, you should try to keep records or copies of everything that is sent to you by the collection agency.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Ohio debt collector, it’s easy to get angry and act impulsively. Unfortunately, this can cause you to say or do something detrimental to your case. Instead, try to remain calm and make all your actions deliberate and well-thought-out. Not only will this be better for keeping your stress levels low, but it will prove helpful if you go to court. You can show that you were respectful and calm while the debt collector was the one using abusive language.
Step 4: Ask for Debt Verification
If you’re constantly getting phone calls from Ohio debt collectors harassing you about what you owe, you need to ask for debt verification. This show you whether or not they are misrepresenting your debt. Additionally, the debt collector must also stop contacting you until they provide the information you requested. Debt verification should show the amount of debt you owe and the name of the creditor. You have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. If you don’t dispute the debt, the creditor will assume the debt is valid.
Step 5: Contact an Attorney
If you’re the victim of debt collector harassment, it’s time to stand up and fight back. You deserve to live a life free from abusive and repetitive phone calls. Ohio attorneys that understand What to Expect When Suing for Debt Collection Harassment, and local debt collection laws, can help you make this possible. If the debt collector threatens to or does take legal action regarding your outstanding debts, working with an attorney becomes even more important.
Step 6: Present Your Case
By hiring an experienced Ohio debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
According to Ohio Legal Help, you have 30 days to dispute a debt that you feel is improper. However, you have 1 year to file suit if the debt collector has behaved improperly or harassed you. You’ll have to decide whether or not to file suit in a state court, or a U.S. District Court. If you can prove damages, such as lost wages, the debt collector will be held liable. However, if you cannot prove this, the judge may still rule for a $1,000 judgement in your favor. As well, they may force the debt collector to pay all of your court and legal fees.
Work With an Experienced Ohio Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Ohio, it’s time to put an end to it so you can move forward with life. There are laws in place to protect consumers from debt collectors. Legal assistance can help you to navigate these complex laws and defend yourself in court, if necessary.
Are you ready to find a debt collector attorney near you so you can finally fight back against the harassment? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Ohio state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!