Understanding Memphis Creditor Harassment Rules
If you have debt you can’t pay, you may face the same frustration as millions of other Americans: creditors. They can call, email, text, and reach out on social media. But how often can a creditor contact you, and who decides the rules?
Our Memphis debt lawyers help people deal with creditors every day. Here’s what you need to know about creditor harassment and how to stop it for good.
Creditor Rules on Telephone Calls
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that determines what creditors can and can’t do. That includes telephone calls, voicemails, and other forms of contact. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) helps oversee and enforce the laws around debt collection.
The FDCPA clearly says debt collectors can’t make repeated or continuous telephone calls to you or your family. (“Placing a telephone call” includes calls that go to voicemail.) It also says they can’t call you with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass you.
In order to clarify what “continuous telephone calls” might mean, the FDCPA gives strict guidance. Creditors break the law if they call you about a debt:
- More than seven times within a seven-day period, or
- Within seven days after talking with you by phone about the particular debt.
And they also have to be cautious about what time of day they call you and what they say if they reach you.
Social Media and Other Electronic Communications
In addition, debt collectors have rules around how much they can contact you via the internet.
They may reach out to you privately through social media, messaging apps, and email. However, they aren’t allowed to:
- Publicly post about a debt they claim you owe
- Contact you online without an option for you to opt out, or
- Continually contact you after you’ve explicitly requested they stop
While debt collectors can reach you online, they aren’t supposed to reach out to your family or friends. When followed correctly, these rules protect your privacy and give you power over how creditors contact you.
How to Stop Creditor Harassment for Good
Unfortunately, creditors do break these rules and put people in difficult situations all the time.
As a Memphis bankruptcy attorney, I see this in my office every single day. You may receive continued phone calls around dinner time that keep you from getting time with your family. Or a creditor might reach out to your employer or friends on social media, in clear violation of the rules.
Our attorneys have written a free guide to help. Creditors Can’t Do That gives you everything you need to know about the rules around debt collection and how to fight back when creditors try to take advantage of you.
In this free report, we give you all the tools you need, including sample letters, to help you report violations and stand up for yourself.
In addition, bankruptcy can help you stop creditor harassment and get out of debt for good. It has the force of federal law behind it, which means once you file, creditors can no longer contact you about a debt. Instead, they have to work through your lawyer and the courts.
So if you need to get out of debt and stop creditor calls for good, we can help. Contact us today to get started with a free conversation.