Can debt collectors deceive you?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2023 | Bankruptcy |

Dealing with debt collectors is not anyone’s idea of a good time. Unfortunately, they can doggedly pursue people through a variety of situations, and may try numerous tactics to get a person’s money to boot.

How can you tell whether or not a debt collector is using legal tactics? What if they seem to be relying on deceit?

Understanding the parameters of the FDCPA

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses things debt collectors can and cannot do when attempting to collect on their debts.

Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors have numerous actions that they cannot take by law. Typically, people focus on the most abusive actions and the actions that constitute as harassment.

But under the FDCPA, forms of deceit and misrepresentation are also banned. This is good news for debt sufferers, as debt collectors do have numerous tricks up their sleeves when it comes to misrepresentation.

Common deceptive tactics

For example, debt collectors of the past have gone so far as to have a member of their staff act like law enforcement and threaten to arrest a person who owes money. These same false officers may also threaten a person with eviction.

Likewise, it is not an uncommon tactic for debt collectors to have a member of their team pretend to act as an attorney. They may try to scare the target by throwing legal terms and jargon, threatening to evict the person, or threatening to send them to jail or sue them.

In reality, debt collectors do not have this level of power, and debt sufferers should know this for better self-protection.