The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was established to protect consumers for debt collection companies.  It is a federal law and is enforceable in every state.  That means you are protected under the FDCPA.  The act consists of a long list of practices that the federal government deems illegal and collection agencies who engage in any of these practices are responsible for damages.  That means if you have been subject to any of the below actions by a collection agency, you can sue them for damages.  Take a look at the list below and call us for assistance.  If you have a case,

The Act prohibits certain types of “abusive and deceptive” conduct when attempting to collect debts, including the following:

  • Hours for phone contact: contacting consumers by telephone outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time.  If you ask the debt collector to stop and they continue to call after hours, they are in violation of the FDCPA.
  • Failure to cease communication upon request: communicating with consumers in any way (other than litigation) after receiving written notice that said consumer wishes no further communication or refuses to pay the alleged debt, with certain exceptions, including advising that collection efforts are being terminated or that the collector intends to file a lawsuit or pursue other remedies where permitted[9]
  • Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously: with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
  • Communicating with consumers at their place of employment after having been advised that this is unacceptable or prohibited by the employer.
  • Contacting consumer known to be represented by an attorney.  Once we represent you, all communication must go through our office.  Further contact by the credit agency is a violation and subject to additional penalties.
  • Communicating with consumer after request for validation has been made: communicating with the consumer or the pursuing collection efforts by the debt collector after receipt of a consumer’s written request for verification of a debt made within the 30 day validation period (or for the name and address of the original creditor on a debt) and before the debt collector mails the consumer the requested verification or original creditor’s name and address.
  • Misrepresentation or deceit: misrepresenting the debt or using deception to collect the debt, including a debt collector’s misrepresentation that he or she is an attorney or law enforcement officer.
  • Publishing the consumer’s name or address on a “bad debt” list.
  • Seeking unjustified amounts, which would include demanding any amounts not permitted under an applicable contract or as provided under applicable law.
  • Threatening arrest or legal action that is either not permitted or not actually contemplated.
  • Abusive or profane language used in the course of communication related to the debt.
  • Communication with third parties: revealing or discussing the nature of debts with third parties (other than the consumer’s spouse or attorney) (Collection agencies are allowed to contact neighbors or co-workers but only to obtain location information; disreputable agencies often harass debtors with a “block party” or “office party” where they contact multiple neighbors or co-workers telling them they need to reach the debtor on an urgent matter.
  • Contact by embarrassing media, such as communicating with a consumer regarding a debt by post card, or using any language or symbol, other than the debt collector’s address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails or by telegram, except that a debt collector may use his business name if such name does not indicate that he is in the debt collection business.
  • Reporting false information on a consumer’s credit report or threatening to do so in the process of collection.

 

A debt collector who does not comply with any provision of the FDCPA is responsible for actual damages, punitive damages, and statutory damages up to $1,000.00. Plus, the FDCPA has a fee-shift provision. This means, the collection agency pays your attorney’s fees and costs.  If you have been abused by a debt collection agency, if you are being harassed you have the means to fight back.  Call us today or fill out our contact form and tell us what’s going on.  A member of our legal team will respond quickly and discuss your case.  Stop the harassment, now!