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Protection from creditor harassment under the law

It is not unusual nor is it anything to be ashamed of for Massachusetts residents to run into financial challenges. When a person is unable to keep up with the payments on consumer debt, the angst can be overwhelming. Considering filing for bankruptcy is a reasonable option to try and get out of consumer debt. As this is under consideration and the process moves forward, many debtors might be under pressure due to creditor harassment. There are certain tactics that creditors are able to use to try and collect a debt. Others are violations of the law.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act accords various protections to consumers. One is designed to prevent false or misleading representations in attempting to collect the debt. Via this law, the debt collector is not allowed to imply that the debt collector has been bonded, vouched for or is connected to the United States or any particular State in the Union, nor can it use a uniform, badge or copy of one. The debt collector cannot make a false representation of the amount, character or legal status of the debt; it cannot state there was a service rendered or compensation that might be lawfully received by a debt collector to collect a debt.

It cannot be falsely represented nor implied that not paying the debt will lead to the debtor's arrest or imprisonment or that any property can be unlawfully seized. The debt collector cannot threaten to take a legal action that cannot be done under the law or that the collector has no intention of taking. It cannot be implied that the debtor is committing a crime. The debtor cannot be threatened with inaccurate personal information being presented to others.

Debt collectors will use a variety of strategies to try and collect a debt. Many debtors are unware of the parameters that these collectors must adhere to under the law. When this is violated, it can cause the debtor to deal with worry and fear needlessly. With that in mind, it is imperative to have the protection of a legal professional who is experienced with debt relief and helping clients avoid creditor harassment.

Source: ftc.gov, "Fair Debt Collection Practices Act -- 807. False or misleading representations," accessed on Nov. 2, 2016

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