As someone facing debt, you also face the possibility of debt collectors contacting you. In many cases, these debt collectors will stick to what is appropriate and will not overstep their boundaries.
But sometimes, a debt collector might utilize tactics illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Some of these tactics fall under harassment, but others fall under misrepresentation instead.
Bullying targets of harassment
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looks into debt collector misrepresentation. This differs from harassment in several ways, though there might be overlap between two categories depending on what the action is.
In the case of harassment, the overall intent is to bully the target into giving in and paying back a debt, even if they literally do not have the means to do so. They might use abusive tactics or do what they can to scare you into agreement.
Forms of misrepresentation
For misrepresentation, debt collectors lie about their power or their information to coerce you into repaying debts instead. For example, a harassing threat may include threatening you with bodily injury. A threat that falls under misrepresentation might include threats of arrest when the debt collector cannot actually have you arrested.
Another common form of misrepresentation includes lying about the amount you actually owe. In doing so, they can create a false sense of urgency which may spur you into unwise action. They may also lie about their legal power. Some debt collectors even pretend to be attorneys in the hopes that it will intimidate or scare you.
If you experience any of these things, you might have grounds to take the debt collector(s) in question to court. This way, you can gain compensation for the struggle you went through.