A debt collector may be accused of illegal activity if he or she engages in the following:
- Using threatening or profane language
- Calling someone either before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Contacting a consumer at work after receiving notification in writing not to do so
The Federal Trade Commission notes that consumers can put a stop to creditor harassment. The first measure is to determine if there is a way to resolve the issue, such as paying off a debt if it is valid or discussing the available options.
Once a consumer determines that the collector should not be calling him or her, there must be a written statement instructing the organization to stop. The FTC recommends making a copy of the letter and sending the original document to the collector by certified mail. Once the company has been alerted to stop contacting someone, they may only continue if they are going to file a lawsuit or to tell a consumer that they will no longer be in touch.
Unfortunately, debt collectors are able to contact friends or family members to try to track down a consumer. However, these calls may only be placed one time in most situations.
Anyone who believes that a collection agency has violated the law is able to sue in either a federal or Illinois court. However, this may not eradicate a debt owed but rather enable a consumer to collect damages. Any issues with a collector can be reported to the Illinois Attorney General or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well.