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Harassment may occur in different forms including sexual, workplace bullying, and debt collection harassment among others. This study outlines an analysis of the legal aspects involved in debt collection harassment. According to Kevin, J. (2010), debt collection harassment can be of many forms as determined by 'The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). As defined by this act, debt collection harassment can be verbal or written. It is common that most people do not know their rights and hence they are threatened and harassed by those people they owe. According to the law as indicated by the FDCPA, a debt collector should not call repeatedly, threaten to use violence or use abusive languages when asking for his/her debt (Kevin, 2010).
According to Kevin, J. (2010) the writer of the article on debt collection harassment in the Ezine magazine, there are issues that are considered violations of the Act of the debt collector. As he describes, the debt collector should not call at work places, call after been requested not to, call without identifying him/herself, send notices resembling court notices, publish a list of customers owing him/her, falsifying that he/she is an attorney, and trying to extract payment over the phone. It is lawful for the debt collector to call in the case there is a genuine debt to repay but should not call repeatedly or use tough language (Kevin, 2010).
As revealed in this magazine, debt collector harassment will be avoided when the consumer stay calm whenever he/she is called, refuse to argue over the debt, avoid using foul language, request for debt validation, send a cease and desist letter, and dispute the debt. A person can sue the debt collector under the FDCP Act in case he/she is harassed (Kevin, 2010).
The federal law through FDCPA protects victims of debt collector harassment who have faced the unfair, unlawful and abusive actions of debit collectors. It is good for people to be conversant with the law and especially issues concerning their rights in order to avoid harassments (Hobbs, 1988). The legal analysis of debt collector harassment indicates that, the debtor should be given adequate time to clear the debts without being harassed. According to Hobbs, R. (1988), creditors should not force their debtors to pay them by the use of violence and abusive or threatening words. On the other hand, creditors have the right to be paid but through a legal procedure or an agreement. If a debtor has refused to pay his/her debts as agreed, the creditor may use the law in order to get his/her payments made (Hobbs, 1988).
From an example given by Crowley, C. (1997), creditor's ignorance of the law should not be used as an excuse for the wrong done. According to her, a creditor is prohibited by the law under the FDCP Act to add any extra amount of money to the debtor as a form of interest without an agreement. On the other hand, it is argued that debtors should not use the law to delay payments or refuse to pay their debts (Crowley, 1997).
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Ignorance of the law is the main challenge that faces the legal issues concerning the debt collection harassment. According to Hobbs, R. (1988), section 130 (c) of the 'Truth in Lending Act' (TILA) offer defense for creditors in the case that the infringement of the law was not deliberate but was a result of genuine error. Lack of knowledge of individuals' rights has made so many people get harassed by debt collectors (Hobbs, 1988).
According to Kevin, J. (2010), the 'Fair Debt Collection Process Act' (FDCPA) protects debtors from harassments of creditors by allowing debtors to sue their harassing creditors. FDCP Act has sets rules and regulations in order to determine what should be termed as harassment. This act allows the creditor to call the debtor to recover a debt but in a respectful and systematic way without using harsh and abusive languages. This Act through legal procedures punishes the creditors who harass their debtors. As indicated by Kevin, J. (2010), the FDCPA define debt collector harassment as repeatedly calling the debtor, threatening to use force, using abusive languages, giving false identity, extracting payments over the phone, and calling at places of work among others. According to this act, the debtor should stay calm during the call, be respectful when talking, request for debt validation, and send a cease and desist letter among others (Kevin, 2010).
The debtor and creditor should come up with a plan on how the debt would be paid where the debtor promises what he/she would get at a certain period of time. The debtor should write to the debt collector on what time he/she should be called. Debtors should make sure that they pay their debts on time to avoid being disturbed by the debt collectors. In case of harassments, the debtor is can sue the debt collector through the appropriate legal procedures.
Despite the fact that debtors owe their creditors, they have their rights and hence they should not be harassed in any way. On the other hand, the debtor should make sure that he/she has paid the debts according to the agreements made. There are laws and regulations which protect the debtors from harassments of debt collectors.
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