When debt collectors come calling, it is an unpleasant experience for those on the receiving end. However, debt collectors still have to uphold certain behavioral practices due to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
Unfortunately, this does not always stop them. They may try to make their illegal threats seem a little more passable by taking away the element of physical threat, but that does not make them any more okay.
A way around the FDCPA
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses threats that debt collectors sometimes make. Though debt collectors have sometimes made or even acted out physical threats against those they collect debt from before, this is a clear violation of the FDCPA and they can go to court for it.
In order to circumvent this, some debt collectors will instead practice non-physical threats. This is still illegal, of course, but not everyone who ends up threatened in this manner understands that.
Types of threats
One type of non-physical threat involves calling aggressively. This involves calling at “off hours”, such as during dinner time or in the early hours of the morning. It also includes the caller refusing to self-identify, or leaving ominous and vague messages without explaining who they are or why they called.
Another type is a stakeout. In this form of threat, someone from the debt collection agency will “stake out” a person’s house. They may park on the other side of the street or somewhere nearby and in eyesight, simply watching the property without actually doing anything.
These tactics do not involve physical threats, but they still cause psychological distress and damage. This is why victims of such harassment can still take actions to protect themselves.