Maybe you are in debt. If you have credit card debt or other outstanding balances, you probably aren't proud of it. Most likely, you find it frustrating. If you are like many Ohio residents who are drowning in debt, you might even feel shame about your financial situation.
For one thing, so many men and women who are ashamed of their debts should not be. Debt can be the result of the fact that tough and expensive things happen in life. Relying on credit and getting into debt can be the result of simply trying to get yourself and your family from yesterday to today.
It is important to discuss the feeling of shame or the feeling of guilt because those feelings can be used against you. How? Debt collectors can find it helps them to prey on your sense of guilt regarding your debts owed. Be careful.
Even if you do owe debts, even if you are responsible for an outstanding balance on your credit card, it is not okay to be harassed by debt collectors. Federal and state laws exist to protect consumers from unethical collections practices. It is important for you to understand what harassment can look like:
- Repetitive, disrupting phone calls hounding you to pay your supposed debts. These calls can be at inconvenient locations (work) and during inconvenient times of the day.
- Hostile word use, threats or behavior over the phone to try to annoy or scare the person on the line.
- Publishing that you owe money for anyone to see. (This tactic most definitely plays into consumers' common shame about their financial situation.)
- The misrepresentation of a collector's identity and/or false details about the debts you owe.
The above points are just a few of the basic ways you might be harassed by debt collectors. Another important point to learn, remember and perhaps act on if you are in a creditor harassment situation is this: once you work with a bankruptcy attorney and file for consumer bankruptcy, all contact between you and the collectors should stop. From that point on, your legal team will take on all debt relief efforts and defend your rights from even the most unethical entities.