When dealing with debt collection, it is important to understand the rights you hold and the lines debt collectors cannot cross. They may attempt to circumvent these laws and overstep lines without you even knowing.
One of the first things you should keep an eye out for is debt collector misrepresentation. Just what is this and how can it impact you?
How misrepresentation works
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses debt collectors and misrepresentation of debt. This may happen when a debt collector falsely exaggerates or inflates the amount owed specifically to try “jumpstarting” you into taking action, even if you do not have the means to do so. In other words, by making your debt seem bigger than it actually is, they scare you into taking drastic action.
Of course, misrepresentation can come in other forms, too. Debt collectors can use many means and choose many different ways to attempt to deceive you, though the end goal always remains the same: getting you to act quickly and repay money in any way possible.
For example, members of the debt collection agency may pretend to act as lawyers, threatening you with legal action they cannot actually take. Likewise, they may lie about having an order for your eviction or even an order for your arrest, when in reality they have not even contacted local authorities and have no way to actually take action against you.
Protecting yourself from misrepresentation
If debt collectors act in this manner, it is possible to take legal action against them instead. If they lose the case, not only must they repay you for your emotional damages, but they also cover your legal costs as well.