All across the country, lawsuits are being filed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which prohibits debt collectors from engaging in harassing, threatening, misleading or abusive actions in order to collect a debt. Even if you have suffered from a debilitating personal injury and are being pursued by debt collectors, it’s important to remember that you have rights. If you’ve been harassed by a debt collector, you may have a case and may be entitled to monetary damages.
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 is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act — also known as the FDCPA — was introduced by the Federal Trade Commission in 1978.
The purpose of the Act was to prohibit debt collectors from being abusive, deceptive and unfair in their debt collecting processes, as these actions can cause unnecessary headache for consumers — or worse. The FTC even refers to cases of personal bankruptcy, marital instability and invasion of privacy tied to debt collector abuse.
Under FDCPA, a debt collector may not use any false, deceptive or misleading information while collecting a debt.
Since 1978, law firms across the country have been representing consumers who have been wronged by debt collectors. As some debt collectors use widespread abuse, several class action cases have also been filed against collectors.
If you have been harassed or abused by a debt collector, you may be entitled to file a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuit. You may want to contact an attorney with The Schmidt Firm, LLP to discuss the potential for a case. By reviewing correspondence and communications from debt collectors, the attorney may be able to identify if the practices violated the FDCPA.
What Are Debt Collectors Prohibited From Doing?
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuits are being filed to defend consumers from the following actions used by debt collectors:
- Engaging in harassing, oppressive or abusive conduct
- Making repeated phone calls
- Calling at times that are inconvenient for the consumer, especially before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Contacting the consumer if the collector knows he/she is represented by an attorney
- Contacting the consumer at work when the collector has been told or knows he/she is not allowed to take calls of that nature while working
- Contacting any relatives, neighbors, employers or any third party about information regarding the debt
- Using any threatening language
- Using obscene or profane language, racial slurs or insults
- Reporting false information on the consumer’s credit report, or threatening to do so
- Threatening violence
- Continuing to pursue a debt that has been properly disputed, without first providing verification to the consumer
- 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
- Suing in a court that is located too far away from the collector’s residence
- Using false claims to collect information
- Contacting the consumer even if he/she has notified in writing to cease communication
- Falsely threatening arrest or imprisonment, implying that the consumer committed a crime by not paying the debt
- Falsely representing the character, amount or legal status of the 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 by postcard
Previous FDCPA Lawsuits
In the case of Goswami v. American Collections, Inc., the debt collector falsely wrote a letter telling the consumer that “only during the next 30 days, will our client agree to settle your outstanding balance due with a 30 percent discount off your above balance owed.”
In actuality, Capital One had authorized American Collections, Inc. to offer the 30 percent discount at any time, not just for the 30-day period. Additionally, American Collections, Inc. was actually authorized to offer a 50 percent discount at the time of the letter, instead of just a 30 percent discount.
The statement in the collection letter was untrue and misleading, making a push for the consumer to pay immediately. Such actions are subject to litigation under the FDCPA.
In another recent FDCPA lawsuit, Conrad v. Franklin, lawyers representing the consumers argued that the debt collector sent false letters to consumers threatening litigation for small debts. Meanwhile, the collector had no actual intent of prosecuting such a case.
Finally, in a class action case, Quesenberry v. Bay Area Credit, a debt collector sought to collect interest at a rate that was above the rate allowed by state law.
If any of these cases sound familiar to your own experiences, you may have a FDCPA lawsuit.
If you believe you have a Fair Debt Collection Practices 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
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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