Debt collection harassment techniques

Some debt collection agencies use harassment techniques, such as impersonation, surprise and threats, to encourage debtors to pay what they owe.

Some debt collectors in the Miami area employ harassment techniques as a way to get debtors to pay what they owe. Many people think of harassment as constant calling, using rude names or bullying, but there are other tactics that may also fit into this category. Therefore, it is important for people to understand what those techniques are.

Impersonation tactics

According to CBS News, impersonation of others is a common tactic used by some collection organizations. The impersonation is used as a way to intimidate someone who owes money to pay. For example, a representative from the company may pose as a lawyer or government official when he or she first makes contact. This false pretense could make people who owe money feel as if they are in legal or personal trouble.

A collector may also pose as someone else in order to get the debtor to talk to them rather than make them feel nervous. However, debt collectors are supposed to identify who they work for, so everyone is on the same page from the beginning.

Abusive calling

Unethical companies may choose to call their targets at odd hours of the day and night. When someone receives a phone call in the middle of the night, there is a greater chance that it will throw them off their guard. Another way debt collectors try to throw their targets off balance is by calling them at work.

Additionally, people who have paid off their debt may still continue to receive calls from the collector. CNN Money recently reported that one collector, Expert Global Solutions, was caught engaging in this tactic. The company, which brings in an annual revenue of $1.2 billion, agreed that when a consumer disagrees with a debt, it will stop contact until the matter is investigated. The company was also ordered to pay a fine of $3.2 million.

Threatening tactics

Debt collection agencies may use a number of different threats to encourage people to pay their debts. Some of the worst threats used by various agencies include the following:

  • Collectors would hurt pets.
  • Children would be taken from their parents.
  • The debtor would have to go to jail.
  • The collector would have the deceased family members of the debtor dug up and put on display.

One company went so far as to hold a "fake court proceeding" in a courtroom that was in reality, an office. Other collectors have also been caught threatening to contact co-workers of the debtors.

Florida residents who have any amount of debt may start to feel cornered when debt collection agencies employ these and other harassment techniques. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to help debtors find relief from their debt and harassment.