What constitutes harassment by a debt collection agency?

I have been receiving phone calls from a debt collection agency and just from my phone records they have called me 23 times with the last 15 days. It has been like this for the last 2 months. Its gotten to the point where I have had to download and pay for an app on my phone so I can block the calls and even then they will call from another number. I know I am in debt but I truly think they are stepping over the line. Sometimes I can get up to 9 calls in the course of just 24 hours.  If it is infact harassment, how do I press charges or take other legal action? 

Asked on March 30, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Well unless the debt collector is violating your state's debt collection laws (if any as usually under the consumer protection act of your state) or more importantly, violating the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, you really have no recourse. If the collector is calling during normal hours and not past a certain time and before a certain time, then there is really not much you can do to stop the calls others than placing the phone on silent. As to your debt itself, and if in fact you do owe it and the statute of limitations has not run on enforcing the underlying debt, you need to consider your options for repayment so that perhaps those phone calls would stop. If you still feel the phone calls are winding up being harassing, contact the agency who would regulate the debt collector or the agency who handles the underlying debt. See if a consumer complaint could stem the tide. Try the Federal Trade Commission, the state attorney general and any other agency who handles your type of loan or debt.

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