False Claims and Harassment Are Illegal
A debt collection agency may not make false statements, including
- Claim that it represents a government agency, such as a marshal, sheriff, or District Attorney Office
- Threaten, that you will be arrested
- Threaten that it will report you to immigration authorities
- Claim that you have committed a crime
- Threaten that it will have you evicted take or garnish your wages, take the money from your bank account, or take your personal belonging without first obtaining a judgment against you in court.
A debt collection agency may not:
- Engage in acts of violence, threats of violence, or obscene language
- Claim the debt owed is greater than it is
- Claim you owe the debt when you do not
- Claim you can be sued if the statute of limitations expired
- Call you before 8 AM or after 9 PM or more than twice a week if the collector has made contact with you
- Advertise a debt or reveal it to anyone, including family members and neighbors
- Contact your employer, family, friends, and neighbors for any reason other than to locate you. Collectors cannot discuss the alleged debt with anyone other than you,
If a debt collection agency is unlicensed, fails to give you information required by law, or unlawfully threatens or harasses you, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/dca to file a complaint with DCA. Remember to keep notes of phone calls, including the date, time, and name of the person who called you, and to send DCA all documentation that supports your complaint.
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