We have a young woman at work who came to us just about a month ago. She is a single mom of two and had to take a pay cut to come to us. She took out an online loan. As is pretty common today, she is having trouble keeping up with the bills. On thursday, the bill collector started calling for her at work. His persistence became an irritation and a distraction for the staff. Apparently he was unaware that it is illegal to harass people at their jobs. He called again the next day and the problem escalated. He would call, the girls would tell him he had to call her after work, and he’d hang up and call again. This went on for about an hour. He was tying up both of our lines at work allowing no business calls to come into our shop! I called the owner who called the police. A very nice and helpful police woman came out. When he called again she talked to him. He was abusive, rude, used very foul language and didn’t believe the police officer was legit. The officer put our employee on the line with him to get a mailing address so she could send a payment. During the conversations he called her a m+++++ f+++++ and then said “You WILL obey me!” What! Did I hear that right? I was shocked! Not only was the man unprofessional, rude, abusive, obnoxious, abrasive and unconcerned with his disruption of our entire shop, he had the police officer raising her voice in frustration. He was told by the telephone girls, the manager, the owner and the police officer that his calls were unacceptable and illegal and he said he didn’t care and would keep calling. The girls had said he had a heavy accent, but the comment “You will obey me!” really got to me. Where was this guy from? Saudi Arabia? Hello! This is the USA! You don’t get to talk to women like that! In this age of internet options, the world is very small and you might not know who is on the other end of your email or submit button! Be careful out there!
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Boy oh boy…I would *HIGHLY* recommend the single mom go to http://www.ftc.gov and become aware of what her rights are under the fair debt collection practices act.
This creditor has violated practically every rule and the irony of it all is that the single mom has the right to sue (within one year of the harassment.) Pretty cool huh?
I am not sure if it *can* be done or not…but I am very curious if the shop owner may not have a case of their own. I’m thinking…tied up phone line cost the owner customers and lost revenue…and if the shop owner might have a case to sue the creditor themselves!
Best of luck to the mom and fellow employees.