Links Between Anxiety Disorders and Creditor Harassment
As a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve seen creditors come after people using every tactic in the book. But sometimes those tactics can cause real and lasting damage. If you have anxiety over creditor harassment, you’re not alone—and we can help.
The Power Imbalance Between Creditors and Yourself
Creditor harassment isn’t local to Memphis or even the United States. Over the centuries, creditors have made people’s lives horribly difficult. In fact, we used to have debtors’ prisons, where people who couldn’t pay their debts languished in jail.
In general, creditors today still have a lot more power than people in debt. Debt collection companies are funded by large corporations who’ve sent them to get money from you. Most have a big staff and plenty of resources, including:
- calling centers to try you on every line
- social media tracking
- background checks
- databases with your relatives and close friends’ contact info
- and more
Debtors by their very nature don’t have these advantages. If you’re in debt and can’t pay it back, you don’t usually have the money to fight these companies.
As a result, a number of debtors report serious anxiety around creditor harassment. They worry creditors might contact their employers or loved ones. Some people report panic attacks and even concerns about potential violence.
Fearing for Your Life Over Debt
Sometimes these anxieties can turn into real health issues and serious mental health threats.
In the UK for example, some people say they live in fear for their lives after being targeted by creditors. It makes sense: some creditors come to the house or threaten people over the phone. They track down family members and friends. And on top of the normal stress we all have in our everyday lives, it can be too much to endure.
In addition, anxiety over creditor harassment can lead to symptoms of PTSD. Fearing for your own (or your loved ones’) safety can be truly traumatic. And if you already can’t afford your bills, you may have trouble accessing quality, affordable mental health care to help you get through it.
All of this stress can make it even harder to organize your budget, negotiate well, keep your cool, and get or keep good employment.
That’s why the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute found financial problems and mental health affect each other in a terrible cycle:
- 46% of people with debt have a mental health diagnosis
- 86% of people who struggle with both debt and mental health say the debt worsens their mental issues, and
- People with debt are 3x more likely to think about potential suicide due to that debt.
How much worse might that get when creditors chase you down and speak cruelly to you?
This is a life or death situation. Fortunately, in the United States, we have consumer protection laws to help.
Consumer Protection Laws Can Help
In the US, creditors have to abide by certain laws. These were designed to protect you from exactly the problems listed above. They help guard you against violence and threats, stalking, and other forms of harassment.
For example, creditors can’t:
- Use or threaten to use violence
- Threaten to harm you, your reputation, or your property.
- Use profanity or obscenities
And much more.
As a bankruptcy attorney Memphis has trusted for decades, this is a very personal matter to me. I don’t want to see anyone go through the pain or anxiety some clients have told me about.
So as a response, I’ve written a free report called Creditors Can’t Do That. It guides you through all the rules creditors have to follow (and there’s a lot!).
What’s more, in this report, I outline exactly how to report bad creditors to the right authorities.
The Best Way to Deal with Anxiety Over Creditor Harassment and Debt
If creditors are making your life awful, I encourage you to get our free report and learn more about your rights.
However, even reporting bad creditors won’t take the debt away. For that, there’s something called “bankruptcy protection.” The word “protection” refers to protecting you from creditors.
When you file bankruptcy, all creditor contact has to cease immediately. You receive an order from a judge that’s binding on your behalf. The phone calls, the emails, the letters and messages—it all stops. And if they want anything more from you, they can talk to your lawyer.
I’ve seen firsthand the power bankruptcy has to change lives, and it often has to do with anxiety. Once you aren’t so worried about your debt, you’re free to focus on your future for once. You can start fresh without the burden of losing your paycheck to past mistakes. And you can finally get the mental relief you need to care for yourself and those around you.
Our Memphis bankruptcy firm would love to help you get this freedom. To get started, contact me today at 901-327-2100 or fill out the form below.