If you’re facing debt collector harassment, you’re not alone. It’s a widespread problem. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop creditor harassment and protect your rights.
The first step is understanding your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a federal law that protects consumers from certain types of debt collection practices.
If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, you may be able to take legal action against them. In some cases, you may even be able to recover damages.
So what can you do if a debt collector violates the FDCPA? Read on to find out.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
The FDCPA is a federal law that regulates the debt collection industry. It applies to debt collectors who use interstate commerce to collect debts. This includes collection agencies, debt buyers, and lawyers and applies to third-party creditors’ collection practices.
The FDCPA protects consumers from abusive debt collection practices. It sets out various standards for reputable debt collection agencies and provides a means for consumers to file a complaint if they believe their rights are being violated. However, the law does not apply to actions taken by the original creditor.
What Debt Collectors Are Not Allowed To Do
There are several things debt collectors are not allowed to do. For example, they are not allowed to use abusive or harassing tactics when collecting a debt. These include things like:
- swearing at the consumer
- making threats of violence
- making repeated phone calls
In addition, debt collectors are not allowed to make false claims or threaten to take actions they can’t legally drive. Here are a few more things debt collectors can’t do:
They Cannot Demand More Money
Debt collectors are not allowed to demand more money than is owed. Third-party debt collectors are also prohibited from adding fees or interest to the debt they collect.
No Public Social Media Contact
Likewise, debt collectors cannot contact debtors through social media platforms publicly. If they get you privately, they also must identify as a debt collector and give you the option to opt-out from receiving communication via social media.
They Cannot Contact You at Odd Hours
In addition, they cannot contact consumers outside of specified hours. The FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors from getting consumers at inconvenient times.
Debt collectors cannot contact you before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. You should never receive a call from a debt collector in the middle of the night.
They Cannot Contact You at Work
Debt collectors are “publicizing your debt.” It is prohibited from calling consumers at their workplaces. If you get a collection call at your office, you must inform your employer about the issue.
Protections the FDCPA Provides
The FDCPA provides many protections if you have been harassed or cheated by a debt collector. For example, a debt collector can’t use deceptive practices to collect a debt, including false statements, threats of legal action, and obscene language.
They also can’t pretend to be someone else to get information from you. You can contact local legal aid for more information on your rights.
Lastly, debt collectors can’t use abusive methods to collect debts, including threatening to use post-dated checks and calling you daily. If a debt collector uses these tactics to collect a debt, they can face criminal prosecution.
If a debt collection agency contacts you, you must know your rights. Remember, the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using unfair and deceptive practices to collect money from you. These practices can include threatening to take legal action or falsely representing the amount of debt owed.
Contact a debt attorney to discuss your rights if you feel a debt collector violates the FDCPA. You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if a debt collector has violated your rights and the law. It is important to note that you have one year from the date the violation occurred to file a complaint.
Also, it’s essential to keep records of all communications with debt collectors, including all documents they send you. Maintaining records of all calls and correspondence is crucial if you decide to file a lawsuit.
Another critical rule for debt collectors is that they can’t contact you at strange times. Also, if you tell a debt collector that you don’t want to be bothered, they must stop calling you.
The FDCPA protects you from harassing and abusive debt collectors. Make a repayment plan or file bankruptcy if you can’t pay the debt. Using these techniques is against the law, and they should cease.
A debt collector may violate the FDCPA if they repeatedly call or writes to you without first allowing you to dispute the debt. This type of action may result in legal action, and a consumer may be entitled to up to $1,000 in damages. It is important to note that this limit applies per violation or lawsuit.
Debt Collector Harassment
FDCPA violations can include harassment or threatening telephone calls. Debt collectors are prohibited from calling or writing to consumers at work and must respect any employer’s restrictions. Furthermore, a debt collector must not harass the debtor’s coworkers or family members.
Violations of the FDCPA may also include phone calls to people who have requested that the debt collector not contact them and contact them in an aggressive or overly assertive manner.
Interest, Charges, and Wage Garnishment
Violations of the FDCPA can also include adding interest or other charges to an overdue debt or garnishing wages. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors cannot add interest or additional costs to obligations, nor can they garnish wages unless allowed by law or agreement.
Bypassing Your Attorney
Additionally, if a debt collector knows that an attorney represents a debtor, they must call the attorney directly to discuss the case. If you feel that your debt collector has violated the law, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or take them to court.
What to do If a Debt Collector is Violating the FDCPA
If you are a victim of a debt collection company that violates the FDCPA, you can sue them for damages. You can ask the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get involved and file a civil lawsuit for damages. The good news is that you don’t have to prove actual damages to win; you can recover up to $1,000, plus your attorney’s fees.
You can file a lawsuit in state or federal court if a debt collector has violated the FDCPA. If you win your case, you can expect a monetary award of $1000 for each violation. You can also seek attorney’s fees and court costs if you can prove that your debt collector has violated the FDCPA in a manner that has caused you pain and suffering.
Under the FDCPA, creditors can’t disclose information about your debt to other people unless they are licensed. In addition to debt collectors, creditors can’t disclose information about your account to anyone except your spouse or an attorney.
If you are a victim of a debt collector’s violations of The FDCPA, you can file a lawsuit. You can claim damages of up to $1,000 per violation and recover attorney’s fees and costs. However, you must first prove that the debt collector violated the FDCPA.
Mental Anguish and Distress
In addition to physical damage, a debt collector’s contact may result in significant emotional harm, including depression and anxiety. You can recover damages for emotional distress and the money you paid to a debt collector you did not owe. Depending on your situation, you may also be able to claim hives, a loss of hair, or migraines.
Debt collectors’ behavior can affect a debtor’s emotional well-being. As such, a debtor can also receive therapy costs. These expenses can be a result of stress from creditor threats. In many cases, debtors may be able to recover these costs by filing a lawsuit.
Damage to Relationships
They may also violate a debtor’s right to privacy, resulting in relationship problems. Even calls to coworkers and family members can be intrusive and affect a debtor’s mental health.
Abuse and Harassment
Under The FDCPA, a debt collector must be truthful and respectful when dealing with a consumer. This means they cannot use abusive tactics such as obscene language or harassing phone calls. In addition, the debt collector must identify themselves as a debt collector before engaging in any contact. If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, you can seek damages for any damages incurred due to the abuse.
Stop Creditor Harassment: Call us today at 215-545-0008
If a debt collector contacts you, you must know your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA protects consumers who are harassed or mistreated by debt collectors. If you believe you are a victim of debt collector harassment, you should contact an attorney immediately. Schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney to learn more about your legal options and stop creditor harassment.