The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
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What is the FDCPA – Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is an amendment that was made to the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from engaging in abusive, deceptive, and unfair tactics while trying to collect a debt.
FDCPA – Know Your Rights
- Restricted Contact Hours – Debt collectors can only call consumers within the hours of 8am and 9pm.
- Continuous Contact is Not Allowed – Calling continuously with the intent to annoy or harass the consumer into taking action on their debts is prohibited.
- Work Contact Restrictions – Debt Collectors are not allowed to contact consumers at their place of employment if they tell them they cannot receive calls at work.
- Attorney First – Debt collection companies are not allowed to call the consumer if it is known that they have an attorney representing them on the matter of the debt.
- Validation Check – Collection agencies are not allowed to contact the person if he or she has requested validation on the declared debt during the required validation period (typically the first 30 days).
- Unethical or Abusive Actions – Collection agents CANNOT use these abusive debt collection tactics:
- Profane language
- Threaten arrest
- Threaten legal action
- Lie about the amounts owed
- Publish the consumer’s information on “bad debt” lists
- Use public media (postcards or telegrams) to reach the consumer
If a collection agency has done any of the above, you could be awarded damages in court. Call us immediately at 877-735-8600 for your free case review.
How to Sue a Debt Collection Agency
If you feel that your rights under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) have been violated, you have the right to sue the debt collection agency. You must file within one year from the date that your rights were violated.
Keep records of all contact that you have with a debt collection agency. Keep copies of all documents sent in the mail or online. Document all calls, including times of the calls and names of people that have contacted you regarding the debt.
When you win in court against a debt collector, the judge can require them to pay for any damages you prove that you have suffered, including lost wages or any medical bills. The judge may also have them pay you $1,000 even if you cannot prove the damages. Attorney’s fees and court costs may also be payed for by the debt collector.
The law firm of Francis & Mailman and their team of consumer protection lawyers are here to fight for your rights! Fill out our form or call us now at 1-877-735-8600 for a free case review.
To read the law in its entirety, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website.