Debt collectors hold an undesirable role in the eyes of the public. They must search out individuals who owe money and find ways to get them to repay that money as fast as possible.
Of course, they must operate within legal parameters that dictate what they can and cannot do to get that money. But where does deceit fall in this?
Misrepresentation vs. threats
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses debt collector misrepresentation. In essence, this is a tactic similar to threats, in which a debt collector engages in questionable behavior in order to force a person in debt to repay the owed money by any means.
Unlike threats, misrepresentation often takes a trickier and more undercover method of reaching the end goal. Debt collectors will often use manipulative and deceitful tactics to trick victims into thinking they are in graver danger than they believed.
Examples of misrepresentation
For example, a debt collector may pretend they have a warrant out for a victim’s arrest or eviction, even if they have not actually contacted police at all. Likewise, a member of the debt collection agency may act as a lawyer, lying and pretending they have the ability to take the victim to court.
Debt collectors may even lie about the amount of money the victim owes. This creates a bigger sense of pressure, as the higher the debt is, the more the victim will feel pushed to pay as much of it off as quickly as possible to avoid homelessness or other repercussions.
Of course, these are all illegal behaviors. Victims who face debt collectors who do such things have the right to take legal action against them.