How Many Times Can a Creditor Call You Before It's Harassment?
Everyone dreads getting calls from creditors about an outstanding debt. Even receiving a single call from a creditor can feel intimidating or threatening. But, is just one call ever enough to constitute creditor harassment?
There is No Set Minimum or Maximum
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has not set a specific limit to phone calls that a creditor can make when trying to collect a debt. If there was a set amount, then the assumption is that creditors would just call up to that amount and then stop. There would also likely be constant lobbying pressure to increase that number.
Instead, the CFPB prohibits creditors from placing continuous or repeated phone calls with the clear intent to “annoy, abuse, or harass” the debtor. This gray area in the law can benefit both creditors and debtors alike, though.
Creditors can try to carefully pace out their phone calls to a debtor to avoid being seen as repeated or continuous. For example, they might call you once a day around noon to ask about your debt. While this frequency may bother you, there is a chance it could be argued as within the lines of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in front of a judge.
On the other hand, debtors can use that gray area to their advantage by hiring an experienced consumer protection attorney. It is possible with the right argument that a judge could be convinced that one call a day is unreasonable since you would not have the chance to make a big difference in your financial situation in just a span of 24 hours.
Is One Call Enough to Be Creditor Harassment?
It is entirely possible that you could receive a single phone call from a creditor and have it still been considered creditor harassment. This situation can unfold depending on what the creditor says during the call or when they call you.
Creditors may not use threatening, harmful, or false statements in their phone calls to try to get you to pay your debt. If you are called once and the creditor threatens physical harm, for example, then that would definitely be harassment. Being called once at 2:00 AM when you would obviously be sleeping could also be considered a form of willful creditor harassment.
It’s always important to work with an experienced creditor harassment lawyer the moment you are contacted by a creditor about an outstanding debt. You might be completely confident that the debt is not actually yours, but loopholes in the law could still pin the debt onto you. Don’t take any chances. Reach out to an attorney as soon as you can.