Do you get collection calls in the middle of the night? Does a collection agency keep calling you at work? These are a few common violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA is a federal law that was created in 1978 to protect consumers and regulate the collection industry.
The fact is that licensed debt collectors and collection agencies break the rules every day. A significant number of complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission involve illegal and unfair collection practices. Some 280,000 complaints are filed each year, and many more incidents are not reported to the attorney general and state authorities.
Fighting Illegal and Unfair Collections
The FDCPA outlines techniques for lawfully collecting debts. It applies to all types of personal debts, including mortgages, car loans, student loans and medical bills. Unfortunately, it does not restrict the collection of business debts.
Dealing with debt isn’t easy, and debt collectors can make things much worse. If necessary, your lawyer can file an FDCPA lawsuit to protect you from predatory debt collectors who want to make illegal profits.
Here are a few of the most common FDCPA violations. If any of these sound familiar, our experienced debt collection attorneys at the Anchor Lawn Firm can help.
- Repeated calls about debts that are not owed are the most common cause of complaints.
- Collection agencies routinely misrepresent the amount and status of debts. They may also try to illegally add interest and collection fees.
- It is a violation if companies don’t disclose all information about the debt or provide resources to help you verify or dispute the information.
- Debt collectors are not allowed to make threats, such as claiming they will illegally sue you, garnish your government benefits or injure you.
- It is unlawful for collection agencies to make false statements or deceive consumers. Debt collectors sometimes impersonate attorneys, government officials and law enforcement officers. This type of behavior is involved in 10 percent of FTC complaints.
- Debt collectors cannot harass you or call at inconvenient hours, such as before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. They may not repeatedly call you at work if your employer objects or if it’s inconvenient. You can ask the collectors to stop contacting you.
- It is also a violation if collection agents discuss the debt with a third party. However, debt collectors can contact other people to get information about your address, phone number or current location.
If you have experienced any type of violation or questionable contact from a debt collector, an attorney can help. Your lawyer will receive all communications and use the information to build a case against these unethical collection firms.
In a successful FDCPA case, you may be able to recover monetary and statutory damages, court costs, legal fees and other expenses. Legal action is often the best way to get debt collectors off your back. To discuss your case with an attorney, contact the Anchor Law Firm today to request a free case evaluation.