The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was introduced to prevent the abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices used by many debt collectors. The harassing, threatening and misleading tactics used by debt collectors may lead to unnecessary personal bankruptcies, marital instability, loss of jobs, and the invasion of personal privacy. If you have been harassed by a debt collector, you may be entitled to monetary compensation and the payment of your attorney’s fees.
- The FDCPA and The Telephone Consumer Protection Act
- The FTC and Fair Debt
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Lawsuits
- ERISA Lawsuits
- Debt Collection
- Class Action Fair Debt
- Debt Collection Harassment
- Debt Collection Laws
- Unfair Debt Collection
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.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: An Overview
Amid abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices by debt collectors, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) introduced theFair Debt Collection Practices Act(FDCPA) in 1978.
It is geared towards preventing and regulating debt collector practices and activities that may harass, threaten, mislead or abuse consumers.
The FDCPA applies to all collection agencies (including those collecting consumer debt on behalf of a 3rd party), collection attorneys and their employees, and “junk debt buyers” (companies that purchase debts for pennies on the dollar and collect the accounts as their own).
Said the FTC about the act: “It is the purpose of this title to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.”
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently filing cases across the country on behalf of those who have been mislead by debt collectors. If you have been harassed or abused by a debt collector, you may want to contact an attorney with The Schmidt Firm, LLP to discuss the potential of a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuit.
If a debt collector carried out these practices on a widespread basis, the claim may be open to class action treatment.
Prohibited Actions Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
As part of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are prohibited from participating in the following activities:
- 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
A debt collector must provide you with the following information within 5 days of the first communication with you:
- Send you a written notice of your rights under FDCPA
- Send you a written notice containing the amount of the debt and the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed
- A statement that notifies you that unless you dispute the validity of the debt within 30 days, the debt will be assumed to be valid
- A statement notifying you that if you notify the collector in writing within the 30-day period that you are disputing the debt, the collector must send you a verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against you
- The name and address of the original creditor, if you request it during the 30-day period
If you notify the debt collector within the 30-day period that the debt is disputed or you request the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector must cease collection of the debt until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt, or the name and address of the original creditor, and the information is provided to you.
What Can I Do?
If you believe you have a Fair Debt Collection Act Lawsuit, you may be entitled to:
- Have the outstanding debt reduced or eliminated
- Be paid monetary damages up to $1,000
- Clear your credit reports of negative information
- Have the debt collector pay your attorney’s fees
Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Many FDCPA cases may be filed in conjunction with violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which makes it illegal to call someone’s cell phone using an automatic or predictive dialer without prior express consent.
Collectors found to be in violation of the TCPA, can face fines of anywhere between $500 and $1,500.
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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The Schmidt Firm, LLP has been recognized as one of the nation's leading plaintiff's law firms and handles cases in all 50 states. We are very proud of our legal achievements, but equally self-respecting of our firms reputation for providing personal attention to each and every client we represent.
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