Debt collectors, generally, are not allowed to threaten to seize your property. The only time a creditor is allowed to seize your property is after they have gone through the court system, filed a lawsuit for the remaining debt against you, and won a judgment. In most situations, you will know when the debt collector has been awarded such a judgment, so threats made over the phone about seizing your property are usually empty. In fact, they are often illegal!
Updated in 2006 to account for new technologies, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is legislation that limits the behavior and activities of debt collectors and collection agencies. Among the many protections it affords is the freedom from unjustified threats of property seizure. Not only does the collector need to have a judgment or similar legal right to pursue such seizure, but they also have to intend to do so, or else the threat is illegal. It cannot be used simply as a coercion tool against you.
There are many other protections afforded by the FDCPA, though collectors often ignore them. Learn more about your rights and how a lawyer might be able to help you sue for compensation by getting in touch with the team at Sue the Collector. We provide clients with a FREE consultation to discuss the merits and details of each case that comes our way. To schedule your appointment, fill out the form on our contact page or call us today at (866) 768-6005.
When Your Debt Is Covered by the FDCPA
Unfortunately, not all debtors are protected by the FDCPA. This legislation specifically covers debts that are personal in nature or that are tied to your household. In other words, business debts are a different matter entirely. You might be subject to property seizure for those additional kinds of debt, but again, the collector or collection agency would need legal approval before instigating such an action.
Another factor to consider is whether the collector threatening you with property seizure is the original creditor or not. The FDCPA is meant to protect debtors against third-party collection agencies to whom their debt has been sold. It does not necessarily cover you if the entity trying to collect the debt is the original creditor.
This means that any assessment of your right to pursue compensation against a collector who has threatened the seizure of your property should include these two crucial questions:
- Is the collector your original creditor?
- Is the debt being collected anything other than personal or household debt?
If your answer to either question is “yes,” you might not have a case under the FDCPA.
Other Illegal Threats and Behaviors
The FDCPA does not just ban the threat of property seizure. There are a host of other debt collection practices that used to be widespread but which have since been banned under this legislation. Below are just a few examples. If you experience any behavior from a debt collector that you think might be abusive or overly aggressive in nature, get in touch with Sue the Collector today to see if you have a case for a lawsuit.
A collector is not allowed to threaten you with physical harm, destruction or damage to your personal property, or even the smearing of your reputation.
Calling at Inappropriate Hours
If a call from a collector comes at any time before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., that call was made illegally. They are also not allowed to call you at work during business hours if your workplace does not allow personal calls.
The collection agency is not allowed to tell false information to you, including:
- Lying about the amount you owe them
- Representing themselves as police officers or law enforcement officials
- Misrepresenting their intention to pursue legal action or escalate the situation
- Giving you a fake company name
Why Legal Help Makes Sense
Collectors and collections agencies often have vast resources at their disposal, giving them much more leverage than the average person. If you feel that you have been victimized by unfair and illegal debt collection practices, you need skilled and experienced legal professionals on your side. Otherwise, you would have to go up against these corporations on your own, and that is not advisable.
Speak with the Sue the Collector Team for FREE
The good news is that you don’t have to fight this battle alone. Speak with a member of Sue the Collector today by calling (866) 768-6005 and scheduling a FREE consultation on the specifics of your case. You can also tell us more about your case via the online contact form on our website and we will respond to you as soon as possible.
Even if you are facing down debt repayment issues, you have rights that need to be respected. At Sue the Collector, we fight to ensure that collection agencies are held accountable for any violations of your rights.