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Creditor harassment in Texas

A man in Lindale, Texas, has filed a lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, alleging that a collections agency harassingly called his workplace even though he had directly requested that those calls stop.

According to the plaintiff, the defendant debt collection agency went far beyond using typical creditor harassment methods. He claims it used illegal tactics to get in touch with him at his workplace, including telling a human resources director that the company was "trying to serve legal papers." One debt collector even called under false pretences, stating that he was an Officer calling from the Grapevine Processor Division.

If the plaintiff wins the lawsuit, a court may award him any real damages he suffered as well as statutory damages (damages provided by law).

Under both the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Texas Debt Collection Practices Act, creditors are strictly limited in how they may contact debtors (see our discussion in our blog on the FDCPA and creditor harassment). For example, creditors may not lie about a debt, mislead a debtor, or use a false company name. All of these things have come into play in the above case.

If you believe your creditor is breaking the law, you have every right to seek legal relief. Chances are, you are not alone. A debt relief attorney can help you determine whether the creditor is following the law. If the creditor is, in fact, acting lawfully, you may want to consider other ways to stop creditor harassment, such as filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy immediately stops any creditor harassment against you.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Debt collection agency sued for repeatedly calling man's work place," Michelle Keahey, Oct. 10, 2012

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