How to get compensated for unfair practices by debt collectors
There is a very thin line between attempting to collect a debt fairly, harassment and unfair practice. If you are constantly receiving calls every day, being threatened or if a debt collector employs any tactic to intimidate you, then your rights under the FDCPA may have been violated.
What is the FDCPA?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a law enacted by Congress in 1977 to protect consumers from unfair debt practices. This law is enforced through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a government agency that among other roles aims to protect consumers from being abused, deceived, or unfairly treated in the process of attempting to collect a debt by collectors. Under the FDCPA some common violations by debt collectors that you may be eligible to get compensated for through legal action are:
- Repeated calls even when you requested not to be called.
- Being contacted at your workplace despite asking not to be called.
- Failure to warn you on every communication where there is an attempt to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used to collect a debt.
- Contacting you before 8 am or after 9 pm.
- Communicating or notifying anyone else other than your spouse about the debt.
- Misrepresenting association with a credit reporting company.
- Misrepresenting and not fully indicating any legal forms sent to you.
- Threatening to sue you, garnish your wages, seize your property or get you arrested.
- Attempting to collect/or report a debt that does not belong to you on your credit.
- Collection attempts containing errors or false information pertaining to the amount owed.
- Calling you and asking for the wrong person.
- Making false threats and claims to ruin your credit.
How it Works
If you are being contacted by a debt collector in a manner such as listed above then you can take legal action against them, and if successful, you may be able to collect UP TO $1,000 in statutory damages, and possibly more if you suffered harm from the violations.
You may sue a debt collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the violation occurred and will be compensated for any damages you prove to have suffered such as lost wages or medical bills. Even if you are unable to prove any actual damages you may still be entitled to compensation including reimbursement for attorney fees and court costs. However, it is important to note that bringing an action under the FDCPA against a debt collector does NOT get rid of the debt you owe in part or whole, it is simply an action to get compensated for unfair harassment and practices you may have been a victim of.
Types of debt covered
The debts covered by the FDCPA are personal, family, and household debts, including money you owed on a personal credit card account, auto loans, medical bills, and your mortgage. Any debts incurred to run a business or company are not covered under the FDCPA.
Some exceptions include:
- Debts not in default at the time of purchase by a debt collector.
- Government employees when collecting a debt in their official capacity.
- Legal process servers
- Persons not regularly engaged in the business of collecting debts
- Non-profit organizations performing credit counseling and liquidation services at consumer’s request.
- Debts incidental to a fiduciary obligation or escrow arrangement
- Debts obtained as security in a commercial credit transaction with the original creditor.
Damages and remedies for FDCPA Lawsuits
- Damages for physical distress
- Damages for emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Wage garnishment recovery
- Statutory damages up to $1,000
- Attorney fees and costs recovered
Connect with our attorneys
If you have been subjected to harassment or unfair debt collection practices of any kind our experienced attorneys can evaluate your case and help you enforce your rights under the FDCPA. There is no upfront fee or cost for your case evaluation. Just because you are currently unable to pay some of your obligations, it does not mean you should endure unethical collection practices and unlawful abuse by debt collectors.