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Fair Debt Collections Practice

"There is abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors. Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy."

("Congressional findings and declaration of Purpose") of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (FDCPA)

The United States Congress has declared that debt collection abuse is a serious problem in the USA. You may have already personally experienced the illegal, humiliating and frustrating tactics of debt collectors. You can put a stop to this harassment, fight back against third-party debt collectors such as collection agencies, collection lawyers and debt buyers. If you win a lawsuit under the FDCPA then you can obtain up to $1,000 in statutory damages, any actual damages, and have the debt collector pay your attorney's fees and litigation costs.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed in 1977 to give consumers the tools to protect themselves against unfair, unethical and illegal debt collection tactics, and that includes debt collection companies and attorneys who specialize in debt collection.

Even though the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has been in force for 32 years, the debt collection industry continues to be the number one complained-about industry to the Federal Trade Commission. This is because the experienced debt collectors know they can get away with their illegal behavior because - MOST CONSUMERS DON'T KNOW THAT THEY ARE PROTECTED FROM SUCH ABUSE UNDER THE LAW. Knowledge is Power - and knowing what protections exist for you under the law can help you avoid a lot of stress from these unscrupulous collectors.

Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are not allowed to use the following harassing or abusive tactics:

  • Use of or threatening violence or criminal means to harm you;
  • Use of obscene or profane language;
  • Advertising your debt for sale;
  • Telephoning you repeatedly or continuously with the intent to annoy or harass;
  • Placing telephone calls without meaningful disclosures of their identity.
  • Embarrassing calls at work.
  • Threats of jail and even violence.
  • Calls to your family and employers about your debt
  • Improper withdrawals from bank accounts.
  • Threatening and Deceptive Collection Letters
  • Abusive or Harassing Phone Messages

Once they get you on the phone, debt collectors are not allowed to deceive consumers with the following:

  • False representations that they are government representatives;
  • Falsely representing that they will seize, garnish or sell any property or wages unless such action is lawful;
  • False representations that you have committed a crime or that you will be arrested or imprisoned;
  • Threats to communicate false credit information to any other person;
  • Falsely implying that the debt collector is employed by a credit bureau;
  • False representations implying that they are attorneys or that there is the involvement of an attorney in collecting a debt; (although some collectors may actually be attorneys).
  • Falsely indicating the legal status of papers or forms sent to you;
  • Use of a false name;
  • Misrepresenting the amount of the debt; or
  • Sending you something resembling an official document from a court or governmental agency that is not real.

If you are being harassed by a collection agent, or you experienced any of the foregoing, contact us to request a consultation.

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