When dealing with debt collectors, it is important that you know your rights. This will prevent them from trying to take advantage of you, and if they do make an attempt, you can identify what they have done and act accordingly.
In addition to potential harassing behaviors that you can act against, you can also take action if a debt collector misrepresents something. But what does this mean?
What is the aim of misrepresentation?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses the act of debt collector misrepresentation. When a debt collector harasses someone or misrepresents something, the end goal is the same: they want to get you to comply with their demands and pay them back as quickly as possible, no matter what you have to do to get that money.
With harassment, a debt collector will often use intimidation and scare tactics in a more blatant way. They could curse you out, stake out your home or call you nonstop at all hours of the day or night.
Falsifying power and authority
Misrepresentation serves as a sneakier way to intimidate people like you. For example, a debt collector may pretend that their teammate has legal expertise or serves as a lawyer. That fake lawyer may then make very realistic-sounding claims about the possibility of your eviction. Debt collectors may also act as though they have a warrant for your arrest when that is not the case.
Additionally, debt collectors may even misrepresent the amount you owe. They often do this to make the total amount seem more overwhelming and pressing, thus driving you into a state of desperation where you may make poor decisions.