Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collection law stipulates that a collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading information while collecting a debt. This means that if you have been deceived or harassed over a debt you may owe, you may be entitled to have your outstanding debt reduced, be paid monetary damages and/or have your attorney expenses paid for.
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been harassed by a debt collector, you should contact our Fair Debt Collection Act Lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please click here to contact our Fair Debt Collection Act Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
What Does the Law Say?
Noticing an abundance of abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) introduced the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1978.
The law stipulates that debt collectors may not engage in harassing, threatening, misleading or abusive conduct. For example, a debt collector may not call you at unusual hours during the day, such as late at night or early in the morning. Among other actions, a debt collector also may not send any written document that appears to be from the government; the debt collector cannot pretend to be another individual or company in order to collect the debt.
These debt collection harassment laws apply to all 3rd party collectors, collection attorneys, and debt buyers. Because they are employed by the original debt-issuing company, 1st party collectors may not be subject to the FDCPA.
Unfortunately, debt collectors often use similar actions to collect on all of their debts, meaning that an illegal action taken against you to collect a debt may have been taken against another debtor. When this happens, the collection agency leaves itself open to class action, whereby one lawsuit may be brought against it on behalf of all the victims who were wronged by its actions.
Under debt collection law, The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act labels specific collection activities as illegal because they were deceptive or unfair. Actions that are forbidden under debt collection harassment law include:
- Engaging in harassing, oppressive or abusive conduct
- Making repeated phone calls or phone calls at an unreasonable time
- Calling you at times that are inconvenient for you, especially before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Contacting you if the collector knows you are represented by an attorney
- Contacting you at work when the collector has been told or knows you are not allowed to take calls of that nature while working
- Contacting any relatives, neighbors, employers or any third party (other than your spouse) about information regarding the debt
- Using any threatening language (i.e. inferring that the debt collector may refer your account to an attorney, may garnish or repossess property, or may harm you credit rating without any actual intention of action on the threat)
- Using obscene or profane language, racial slurs or insults
- Reporting false information on your credit report, or threatening to do so
- Threatening violence
- Continuing to pursue a debt that has been properly disputed, without first providing verification to you
- Sending false letters or documents that appear to be from a government agency or court
- Seeking collection fees, interest charges or taxes that are in excess of or not permitted by contract or state law
- Falsely representing himself/herself in order to collect a debt (i.e. falsely claiming to be an attorney or using a false name)
- Suing in a court that is located too far away from your residence
- Using false claims to collect information (i.e. stating he/she is conducting a survey)
- Contacting you even if you have notified in writing to cease communication
- Falsely threatening you with arrest or imprisonment, implying that you committed a crime by not paying the debt
- Falsely representing the character, amount or legal status of your debt
- Threatening to take action that is not legal or never intended to be taken
- Requesting post-dated checks with the intention of prosecuting if they bounce
- Communicating with you by postcard
If you have been harassed by a debt collect in any of these illegal ways, you may be protected under debt collection law. You may want to contact an attorney with The Schmidt Firm, LLP for a free consultation to discuss the potential for your claim.
What Are My Rights Under Law?
If you believe you have a Fair Debt Collection Act Lawsuit, you may be entitled to certain benefits under the law. These benefits include:
- Having your outstanding debt reduced or eliminated
- Being paid monetary damages up to $1,000
- Clearing your credit reports of negative information
- Having the debt collector pay your attorney’s fees
Do I Have a Fair Debt Collection Act Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been harassed by a debt collector, you should contact our Fair Debt Collection Act Lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Fair Debt Collection Act Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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