Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about those who are trying to collect debt from you is that debt collectors cannot come to your home. While this practice is not common, there are specific instances where a debt collector can show up at your home, for instance to repossess a vehicle you have not made payments on. This aside, you still have certain rights and there are some things you need to know about debt collectors who show up at your door.
- Not law enforcement - debt collectors are not law enforcement agents and they cannot imply they will arrest you or threaten you in any manner. Regardless of how much debt you owe or who you owe it to, you have rights.
- Must identify themselves - before you identify yourself to anyone at your door, you should ask them to identify themselves. If a debt collector refuses to identify themselves you do not have to disclose your name. You can close the door and go about your business. If they do not leave you have the right to contact the local police department.
- Cannot misrepresent - a debt collector cannot misrepresent themselves. For example, if you owe money to Bank of America and a debt collector shows up at your door to collect, they cannot claim to be an employee of Bank of America unless they are an employee. Chances are they are not.
Other things you should know
While it may be legal for a debt collector to show up at your door, there are steps you can take to ensure this never happens. When you owe a debt and you are concerned about being threatened or harassed, you can notify the debt collection agency in writing that it is not appropriate to contact you at work and that they may not show up at your home. Should they take either of these steps, you may file a police complaint and a complaint with the local Attorney General.
Seek legal advice from an attorney who understands both California collection law as well as Federal collection laws. Just because you owe a debt, does not mean you are a criminal and under no circumstances should you feel threatened by debt collection measures. Whether you are facing harassment from a debt collector or you want to avoid problems with debt collectors, contact The Law Offices of James C. Shields. We can help you resolve your debt and we can also ensure that collection activities cease while we help you resolve the issues you are facing.