Debt Collector Harassment in Syracuse, NY
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Syracuse, New York 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 Syracuse, New York
According to New York State’s Attorney General, Syracuse consumers are protected from debt collector harassment by both federal and state laws. In fact, the state law against harassment also extends to original creditors. Some of the prohibited business practices include:
- Calling you continuously, or between 9:00pm and 8:00am
- Threatening to collect a fee over and above the debt you owe
- Communicating your debt status to your employer
- Implying they are a government entity or judicial body
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 Syracuse 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 Syracuse, NY 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 Syracuse 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’s generally a good idea to research any debt collector that contacts you, especially if you don’t recognize the company name. Fortunately, the Better Business Bureau provides ratings and reviews of collection agencies operating in and around Syracuse. These companies include:
- Frank & Israel Ltd
- Capital Collection Management
- Newman & Lickstein
- Stellar Collection Services
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Syracuse, New York?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Syracuse 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 Syracuse, NY by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
There are practical steps to take to document debt collector harassment in Syracuse. You can start by sending a letter to the debt collector requesting that they stop contacting you. Send the letter by certified mail or fax to verify receipt. In addition, it can be helpful to keep a log of all phone calls. Always take notes on the date, time, caller’s name, and what was said.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Syracuse 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 Syracuse, NY 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. Syracuse 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 Syracuse, NY debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
When you begin your case, it is advisable to consult with a Syracuse attorney about where to file. This is because you may have a choice between state and federal court. Specifically, Syracuse cases could be heard by either the US District Court, Northern District of New York, or the Onondaga County Court.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, you may be eligible for statutory relief of up to $1,000. You may also be reimbursed for legal and court costs. However, even if you win your case, you may still have to pay the original debt.
Work With an Experienced Syracuse, New York Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Syracuse, NY 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 New York 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!