If you have delinquent debts, then you've likely received your fair share of harassing calls from collection agencies. What you may not be aware of is that there's a limit to how a debt collector can engage with you. If their interaction with you goes beyond a certain point, then they may be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Any repetitive calls, use of profane or obscene language, or threats of violence, would be considered as harassing under FDCPA. Any debt collector who threatens or actually does publish a list on people with delinquent debts may be violating this law as well.
When debt collectors call, they're required by law to disclose who they are and the purpose of their call. If they work for an attorney's office, then they're required to disclose that as well.
They also are required to be straightforward in letting you know how much you owe. If they threaten to have you arrested or claim to have plans to undertake any other illicit action toward you, then they may be violation of FDCPA.
When engaging with debt collectors, you should keep copies of all correspondence whenever possible. If you speak by phone, then you'll want to keep track of the dates and times those conversations occurred. You should document what transpired during the course of these conversations also.
Having this information documented will be helpful if you head to court over your debts.
Collection calls often don't stop unless a creditor is able to secure a wage garnishment. Even then they may not end. An Alexandria Chapter 13 attorney may advise you that one of a few ways to get the harassing calls to stop is by filing for bankruptcy.