Debt Collector Harassment in Spokane, WA
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Spokane, Washington 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 Spokane, Washington
Debt collection practices in Spokane are regulated by a combination of state and federal laws. According to the Washington Attorney General’s Office, debt collection agencies cannot threaten you with jail or physical violence. In addition, they cannot call you more than three times per week, late at night, or early in the morning. They are allowed to call your friends, family, or workplace one time to find out where you live or work. However, they cannot give anyone else information about your debt.
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 Spokane 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 Spokane, WA 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 Spokane 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.
Before contacting a Spokane resident, a debt collection agency must be licensed by the Washington Department of Revenue. Some of the agencies working in the Spokane area include NACM Northwest, Automated Accounts, and Paid Inc.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Spokane, Washington?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Spokane 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 Spokane, WA by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
Washington Law Help provides some suggestions for Spokane residents who wish to document their case against a collection agency:
- Keep copies of anything mailed to you, including the envelopes
- Log every phone call, including date, time, content, and caller’s name
- Keep notes of any calls about you to other people and what information was disclosed
- Send any letters by certified mail, with return receipt
- See a counselor or doctor if the collection agency causes you physical, mental, or emotional problems
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Spokane 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 Spokane, WA 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. Spokane 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 Spokane, WA debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
Because both state and federal laws apply, you may have a choice about where to file your lawsuit. A Spokane attorney can help you choose between the U.S. District Court and Spokane County Superior Court. Regardless of venue, you must begin your case within one year of the illegal action by the debt collector. In addition to statutory and injunctive relief, you may also be able to recover damages for any economic losses.
Work With an Experienced Spokane, Washington Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Spokane, WA 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 Washington 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!