Debt collectors do not get to do whatever they want. Federal and state laws limit what they are allowed to do. Nationally, of course, the key law is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
In the San Antonio area and across the nation, people who are struggling with debt are supposed to be protected by these laws. But many creditors still try to harass debtors or engage in other illegal forms of debt collection.
Responding to such tactics on behalf of consumers is one role a bankruptcy attorney can play. As we regularly seek to explain in this blog, bankruptcy is often a sound strategy for people seeking debt relief.
In a recent Texas case, a debt collector crossed the line and made an excessive number of phone calls to a debtor’s workplace. The collector reportedly called more than 15 times.
The woman who owed the money asked the collector to stop calling. But regardless of what fair debt collection laws say, debt collectors sometimes fail to honor such requests.
In this case, the woman decided to fight back. She sued the debt collection company. In addition to violations of the FDCPA, the woman argues that the company violated the Texas Finance Code. She also contends that her privacy was invaded. Her suit was filed in state court last month.
A lawsuit is of course one way to fight back against unreasonable debt collection tactics. Filing bankruptcy is another.
Of course, an individual debtor cannot take on the entire unscrupulous debt-collection industry. The broader task of regulating the industry is the job of government agencies, particularly the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Source: The Southeast Texas Record, “Debt collector sued for calling woman’s work place more than 15 times,” Michelle Keahey, May 27, 2013