Debt Collector Harassment in South Dakota

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

According to the Attorney General of South Dakota, while debt collectors are entitled to pursue the debt that you owe, they are not entitled to engage in behavior classified as harassment. This behavior can include, but is not limited to the use of profane language, threatening harm or violence, and publishing your information if you refuse to pay. They are also prohibited from making false statements. For example, telling you you’ll be arrested, or misrepresenting how much you owe.

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 South Dakota attorney can help you identify your options and build a strong case.

Misrepresentations

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 South Dakota 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 South Dakota , 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 are facing debt collectors in South Dakota you could be contacted by Credit Collection Services, or AAA Collections to name a few. The Better Business Bureau keeps an extensive list of accredited collection agencies in South Dakota.

What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In South Dakota?

Step 1: Know Your Rights

If you think South Dakota 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 South Dakota by a debt collector, it’s important to gather evidence. South Dakota Law Help states that debt collectors frequently contact you at a variety of times and places, and in a variety of ways including calls, texts, emails, and in writing. To make this stop, you must send a Stop Contact letter in writing. It would be best to send it through certified mail, so you have a receipt. Once this is received the collection agency must stop. You should also keep all the correspondence between you and the agency, as well as keep a record of the payments you’ve made. You might also obtain a copy of phone records that show the frequency at which the agency calls.

Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately

When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish South Dakota 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 South Dakota 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. South Dakota 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 South Dakota debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.

According to the Federal Trade Commission you have 1 year to file a lawsuit against a debt collector that is engaging in harassment. You may be able to pursue damages for lost wages. Or for any further debt you incurred as a result of the harassment. However, even if you can’t pursue damages, a judge may still hand down an award of $1,000. As well, they may force the agency that harassed you to pay your court and legal fees. You’ll need to file the lawsuit in either a state or federal courthouse, such as the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota.

Work With an Experienced South Dakota Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer

If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in South Dakota, 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 South Dakota 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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