Debt Collection Lawsuit FDCPA| Abusive & Harassing Debt Collection Lawsuit | Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
STOP abusive tactics and harassment by third-party debt collectors
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that aims to protect consumers from abusive tactics and harassment by third-party debt collectors. Among other things, the Act allows consumers who successfully pursue an FDCPA Debt Collection Lawsuit to collect monetary damages and obtain injunctive relief from predatory debt collection practices. The FDCPA also allows family members, neighbors, employers and other individuals to file suit if they are harassed by third-party collection agencies about another individual’s debts.
No one should have to endure harassment from third-party debt collectors who violate the provisions of the FDCPA. If you’ve been hassled by a rogue collection agency, our attorneys are ready to fight on your behalf. Please call our office today to learn how you can file your own FDCPA Debt Collection Lawsuit and put an end to this harassment.
Debt Collection Guidelines Per the FDCPA
The FDCPA was enacted in 1978 in response to rising consumer complaints regarding abusive debt collection tactics. It’s important to note that the Act only applies to collection agencies that seek to collect debts on behalf of others. Original creditors are generally not bound by the FDCPA, though their behavior may be governed by other state statutes. The FDCPA also only covers personal debts, such as mortgages and credit card bills, and does not apply to debts incurred by a business.
Under the FDCPA guidelines, debt collection agencies:
- May only contact third parties ONCE (relatives of debtor, neighbors, employers, etc.) to ascertain the location of a debtor. In doing so, they must identify themselves and the reason for the contact. If asked, they must provide the name of their employer.
- May not contact an individual at inconvenient times without consent.
- May not contact a debtor if they have been informed that the individual has retained an attorney.
- May not contact a debtor at their place of employment if the collector is aware that such contact may negatively affect that employment.
- May not contact a debtor if the collector has been informed in writing that they are refusing to pay the debt and no longer wish to be contacted. In such cases, the agency may only contact the debtor to notify the individual that collection efforts are being terminated, and/or that the collector may invoke special remedies.
- May not engage in harassing or abusive behavior toward any individual connected to a debt. This includes threats of violence or other criminal conduct; use of obscene language in written or verbal communications; making the debtor’s name public, except when reporting to a credit reporting agency; and repeatedly contacting the debtor or a connected party with the intent to annoy or harass.
- May not engage in misrepresentation and unfair practices. This includes, but is not limited to, falsely representing the amount, character or status of the debt; claiming or implying that the collector represents the government; claiming to be an attorney; threatening to arrest the debtor or confiscate property; or threatening impermissible legal action or legal action that is not actually intended.
Remedies Under the FDCPA
The FDCPA allows consumers to recover damages up to $1,000 from a third-party collector for any violation of the Act. The law also allows those who successfully pursue FDCPA Debt Collection Lawsuits to collect financial compensation for lost wages, emotional distress, physical distress (stress-related heart problems, etc.) and other actual damages caused by the collector’s abusive behavior, as well as attorney’s costs and fees. Finally, FDCPA plaintiffs may also obtain injunctive relief to prevent the collection agency from contacting them again.
Debt Collectors and the TCPA
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal law that prevents telemarketers from robocalling or sending unsolicited text messages without first obtaining express prior consent from the recipient. The TCPA also prevents creditors from making collection calls to consumer cell phones without consent. Recently, courts have ruled that such consent is only granted if the debtor provided their cellphone number when they submitted the original credit application that relates to the debt being collected.
Under the TCPA, consumers can receive $500 for each debt collection cell phone call they receive in violation of the law. However, damages rise to $1,500 per call if it can be proven that the violation was “willful.”
Learn More About Filing a FDCPA Debt Collection Lawsuit
If you’ve been harassed by an unscrupulous third-party debt collector, you can fight back! To learn more about filing an FDCPA Debt Collection Lawsuit, please contact Alonso Krangle LLP by filling out our online form or calling 800-403-6191.