When dealing with debt, you will also most likely deal with debt collectors. Though many follow the rules and do their jobs appropriately, some will attempt to misrepresent themselves in order to get you to comply with their wants.
Debt collector misrepresentation differs from harassment in many ways but has a similar purpose and end goal. You also have protection from it, so it is important to recognize the signs so you can take appropriate action.
Lying about power
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looks into debt collector misrepresentation, an issue that exists alongside harassment. Misrepresentation essentially involves a debt collector lying about – or misrepresenting – a certain piece (or pieces) of information in order to get you to comply with their demands.
For example, a debt collector might claim they have legal power. They might lie and say another member of the team is an attorney when they are not. They might claim to have a warrant out for your arrest when they have not actually contacted the police at all, or when the police have already told them they have no legal grounds to arrest you.
Lying about what you owe
Debt collectors may also try to misrepresent the amount you owe. In doing so, they can create a false sense of urgency that might spur you into taking risky actions you would not otherwise take.
Instead of immediately agreeing with the demands of a misrepresenting debt collector, consider seeking legal help. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you could take action against these debt collectors for their mishandling of the situation and receive compensation for your hardships.