Debt Collector Harassment in Rhode Island

Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Fair Debt Collections Act closely parallels the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This means that the following types of debt collector harassment may be considered violations of both state and federal law:

  • Advertising for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt
  • Placing telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller’s identity
  • Using obscene or profane language
  • Threatening to use violence or criminal means to harm you, your reputation, or your property

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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island , 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.

Both the Better Business Bureau and The Yellow Pages provide a list of collection agencies in Rhode Island, including:

  • The Debt Masters
  • Bilateral Credit Corp LLC
  • John Michaels Collection Agency
  • Associated Credit Services Inc

What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Rhode Island?

Step 1: Know Your Rights

If you think Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island by a debt collector, it’s important to gather evidence. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau you should document all harassment. Specifically, you should save letters, voicemail messages, text messages, and emails. Remember to always get the name and employee ID of the caller, note the time of call, and take notes during the call. Moreover, you may be able to record the phone conversation, since Rhode Island is a one-party consent state. However, you’ll need to be certain the debt collector is calling from within Rhode Island.

Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately

When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island debt collectors harassing you about what you owe, you need to ask for debt verification. Not only will this show whether or not they are misrepresenting your debt, but 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. Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.

If you are suing for both federal and state violations in Rhode Island, you have a choice to file in either federal or state court. An experienced Rhode Island attorney can help you decide the optimal jurisdiction for your case. If you go the state route, your lawsuit may begin in a Rhode Island Superior Court or District Court, depending on the damages claimed.

The Federal Trade Commission states that you could be awarded up to $1,000 and be reimbursed for attorney fees and court costs. Moreover, if you can prove damages, such as lost wages or medical bills, you might even be awarded more. Also, due to the statute of limitations, you only have one year from the time the harassment occurred to sue for damages.

Work With an Experienced Rhode Island Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer

If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island 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!

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