Yes, Debt Collector Harassment Can Cause PTSD
When most of us were children, kids who were the targets of bullying by classmates could expect their parents to tell them to toughen up and their teachers to tell them to stop being a tattletale. Today, parents and teachers recognize peer bullying for what it is, namely harassment and emotional or physical abuse. Likewise, employees have recourse to legal remedies when their coworkers harass them at work or their employers retaliate against them for complaining about harassment. It’s time our society recognized that constant phone calls and threats from debt collectors are harassment. In fact, the law recognizes this. A Philadelphia debt collector harassment lawyer can help you stand up to the bullies who harass you about debts that you cannot pay and may not even owe.
The Long-Lasting Effects of Financial Stress and Creditor Harassment
On an episode of the No Stupid Questions podcast, economist Stephen Dubner and psychologist Angela Duckworth discuss the profound effect of financial stress on people’s lives, even after the immediate financial crisis has passed. For example, students who have experienced poverty perform less well on word problems that involve prices and amounts of money, compared to their performance on math problems that do not mention money. If you have experienced financial struggles, money is not an abstract concept; it is a very real source of worry. This mindset persists for a long time even after the person has begun working at a salaried job or paid off their debts.
Michelle Jackson of the Michelle Is Money Hungry podcast can attest to this. She finished paying off $60,000 of debts in the summer of 2021, but the fear and stress linger. After being pursued by creditors for years, she still feels anxious every time an unfamiliar phone number appears on her phone or an envelope that could be an unexpected bill appears in her mailbox. She did not specify whether she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the residual anxiety is enough that she is seeking out a financial therapist.
The point is that financial stress negatively affects our mental health, and threats and harassment in the form of unsolicited phone calls from creditors and collection agencies make it worse. The good news is that, if you tell a creditor to stop contacting you, they are required to stop contacting you. Formally telling a creditor to leave you alone does not make the debt go away, but it gives you some peace and quiet to figure out how to deal with the debt. A consumer law attorney can help you stop creditor harassment and then strategize about settling, consolidating, or discharging debts.
Contact an Attorney for Help
Having debt collectors follow you around, reminding you about the debts you can’t pay, is very stressful even if the debt collectors are polite, and they are not always polite. A debt collector harassment attorney can help you get creditors and collection agencies to stop contacting you, which can be a first step toward paying off your debts. Contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to set up a free, confidential consultation.