Debt Collector Harassment in Vermont
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Vermont 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 Vermont
The Office of the Attorney General of Vermont states that if a collection agency is engaging in harassing behavior, you have grounds to sue. Harassing behavior in Vermont is constituted by, but not limited to, falsifying information, refusing to identify the collection agency, threatening violence, or using profane language. It is also illegal to leak or share information about your debt with anyone other than your spouse.
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 Vermont 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 Vermont 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 Vermont , 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.
There are several debt collection agencies that creditors can turn to in Vermont, such as Asset Recovery Inc., or Credit Associates. NexaCollections offers a comprehensive list of creditors in the Vermont area.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Vermont?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Vermont 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 Vermont by a debt collector, it’s important to gather evidence. If you are experiencing harassment from a debt collector, it would be wise to take steps to protect yourself. You should keep all written and electronic documents sent to you by the collector, and can even contact your phone provider to receive a copy of your records to show how often and when the collector has called you. You should also draft a Stop Contact letter and mail it through certified mil to the debt collector. Once received, a collector is prohibited from contacting you again, unless to notify you that a suit will be filed. The Vermont Government provides an online form to help you draft a Stop Contact letter.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Vermont 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 Vermont 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. Vermont 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 Vermont debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
Once a debt collector has begun harassing you, you have one year to file a lawsuit. You can pursue damages incurred from the harassment in your suit, and even if this is unsuccessful, if you can prove harassment the judge may award you $1,000 and order the collection agency to pay all fines and legal fees.
An experienced Vermont attorney by your side may prove extremely helpful, as you’ll need to decide whether to file in a state court, or a federal district court, such as the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont.
Work With an Experienced Vermont Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Vermont, 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 Vermont 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!