Debt Collector Harassment in San Francisco, CA
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In San Francisco, California 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 San Francisco, California
According to California’s Attorney General, San Francisco consumers are protected by federal and state laws against debt collector harassment. Some of the prohibited business practices include:
- Using envelopes that contain information about your debt that is intended to embarrass
- Using words or symbols to imply they are a government agency or court
- Reporting false information to credit bureaus
- Calling continuously, or between 9:00pm and 8:00am in your time zone
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 San Francisco 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 San Francisco, CA 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 San Francisco 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.
It can be advisable to look up any debt collector that calls, since there could be scammers pretending to be collection agencies in San Francisco. The Better Business Bureau provides ratings and reviews for collection agencies operating in and around San Francisco. Some of these agencies include:
- Snap Judgment LLC
- True Accord
- Cypress Asset Recovery LLC
- American Revenue Management Inc.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In San Francisco, California?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think San Francisco 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
Have you been harassed in San Francisco, CA by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
According to the National Consumer Law Center, you should keep proof of all correspondence if you are harassed by a debt collector in San Francisco. Specifically, you should keep copies of all correspondence, sent and received. Log each call, and be sure to get the caller’s name, and the company contact information. Additionally, you should save all voicemails, texts, and emails. It is generally a good idea to plan what you are going to say when a debt collector calls.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish San Francisco 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 San Francisco, CA 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. San Francisco 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 San Francisco, CA debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
Your San Francisco harassment lawsuit may begin in San Francisco County Superior Court. Alternatively, you might file in the US District Court, Northern District of California. An experienced San Francisco attorney can help choose the best jurisdiction for your case. Due to the statute of limitations, you only have one year from the time the harassment occurred to sue for damages.
Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission states that you could be awarded up to $1,000 and be reimbursed for attorney fees and court costs. If you can prove damages, such as lost wages or medical bills, the Court may award you even more.
Work With an Experienced San Francisco, California Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in San Francisco, CA 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 California 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!