Fair Debt Collection Violations
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Can Stop Harassing Creditors
In today’s economy, more and more hard working Americans are facing past due notices and bills they just can’t afford to pay. They are living under the stress of debt collectors trying to collect money the consumer is desperately trying to repay. Does this sound like your life? The good news is to help struggling consumers combat the dirty tactics of their creditors, the federal government passed the Fair Debt Collect Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA protects indebted consumers against harassment, intimidation, and other forms of abuse at the hand of their creditors.
What Behavior is Illegal Under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act?
The following are illegal and wrongful debt collection practices under the FDCPA:
- Making phone calls to your friends, neighbors or family about your debts.
- Calling you at work.
- Sending or leaving harassing or abuse phone calls, messages, or letters.
- Using intimidation, threats, or lies to collect debts.
- Threatening legal action if there is no intention of filing a lawsuit.
- Implying illegal conduct will be taken if your bills are not paid.
- Attempting to collect debts that are not owed.
- Attempting to collect on a debt that is part of a bankruptcy filing, or was discharged in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.
What Should I do if a Creditor is Illegally Harassing Me?
Even though the FDCPA has strict guidelines about what debt collectors can and cannot do, there are a surprising number of predatory lenders, collection agencies and others who consistently violate the Act. However, the good news is the FDCPA contains some harsh penalties that may be imposed on debt collector for violations of the Act. These include actual damages suffered by the debtors as a result of the violation, statutory damages up to $1,000, attorney fees and court costs.
Predatory creditors have been able to get away with their illegal actions because it is difficult for regulators to monitor all potential violations of the FDCPA. Also, debtors are more worried about fighting for their financial survival than seeking to take action against the overly aggressive collectors. Don’t let the debt collectors take advantage of your misfortune. If you have been the victim of harassment by a debt collector, let the attorneys at Barry & Associates fight your battle. They are experts with years of experience and they will stop the harassment and help develop a plan of action to get your financial life under control.