When debt collectors attempt to collect their debts, they must abide by the laws set down by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
Failure to do so can result in a legal penalty. Unfortunately, that does not stop every debt collector and some still engage in illegal behavior like misrepresentation.
Misrepresentation vs. harassment
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses debt collector misrepresentation. This differs from harassment in several notable ways, including the fact that on a whole, it is much less aggressive and direct compared to harassment.
The main goal of both harassment and misrepresentation essentially remains the same, however. In both cases, the people who implement these tactics want to get the money back from the person who owes a debt and will stoop to illegal means to get that accomplished.
Common misrepresentation examples
Misrepresentation tactics typically involve presenting information in an incorrect way or even falsifying information entirely, with the goal of getting a person to pay back their debts faster by providing a lot of pressure on the owing party.
For example, a member of the debt collection agency may pretend they are a police officer and serve a person with a fake warning about the possibility of eviction or arrest. They might pretend to be a lawyer as well, threatening to take the person who owes them to court.
Of course, these actions can put a person into a situation of high stress that can negatively impact their mental and physical health. To that end, it is legal to take action against the debt collectors who do this.