FDCPA Violations and How We Can Help
We help consumers and residents every day that have been taken advantage of by collection agencies. The FDCPA which is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that regulates the activities of third party collection companies. It basically states that if a collection company breaks this law, then the consumer would be entitled to a statutory award of up to $1000 dollars plus legal fees and damages!
Most people will panic when confronted with debt collectors and their scare tactics, but few actually know their rights in regard to them. You do have rights, and there are consequences for debt collectors who violate them. We can help you fight your collection companies! This is what you need to know as a consumer.
Garnering new debt on top of what you may already have is never wise, but in these unsteady economic times, it can be crippling if you cannot easily begin payments. The NFCC, which is the
National Foundation for Credit Counseling in the United States, more than twenty million Americans are either getting calls from debt collectors or are filing bankruptcy or at the verge of it. Collectors, realizing that the economy is so fragile, have become even more aggressive in their tactics over the past few years. They are stepping up their game, and calls and letters regarding debts flow in sooner and with more frequency than ever. They know money isn’t abundant for consumers, so they want to step to the front of the line to up their chances of getting paid.
Although you may already have debts in the hands of a collector, or third party agency, you do still have rights, just as the collectors have guidelines they must follow. We have compiled some of the strictures that must be adhered to here:
There are appropriate times for them to contact you, and they have to abide by them. They are allowed to come to your home, and to call or fax you, but not before eight in the morning or after nine in the evening. They are allowed to contact you while you are working unless you have instructed them that this is not an approved practice at your place of business. They can mail letters or send a telegram at any time.
A debt collector or agency acting thereof, cannot harass you. This means that they cannot threaten you with physical violence, use inappropriate language or utilize repeated calls to annoy you into speaking with them or committing to a repayment. They also are not permitted to tell you that you will go to jail for non-repayment, or impersonate an attorney or government employee.
Is there any way to get collection efforts to stop? The consumer can stop all contact from the collector by writing a letter to the collector telling them to stop. Once the collector receives the letter, they may not contact you again except to say there will be no further contact, or to notify you that the debt collector or the creditor intends to take some specific action.
Collection companies are not permitted to tell other people that you have debt, how much it is or to whom it is owed. They can only utilize your acquaintances to find out where you are located or your phone number. Generally they are not allowed to disclose information to anyone other than you or your representative if you have engaged counsel.
If you decide that you don’t actually owe the debt, you can dispute it. Within five days of their initial contact with you they are required to give you the name of the creditor, the amount owed and disclose your options regarding payment or options if you don’t believe you owe anything. They cannot continue to pursue the debt if you dispute it without evidence to support the amount owed.
Losing your job, can result in being unable to pay your debts in a timely manner; however that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve fair treatment. Knowing your rights can help you stay above water even in a bad situation. If you as a consumer find that you have been treated unfairly, then the debt collection agency should be immediately referred with a complaint to the attorney generals offices as well as the Federal Trade Commissions. These agencies that cross the line can receive fines and even stop orders, but even better you can stop others from being misused by the same people.
Collection letters must also contain specific verbiage and be sent in a timely manner. When collection companies call you, they must disclose that they are a collection company and the call is an attempt to collect a debt. They also must communicate to the credit bureaus upon getting a dispute from a consumer; and if any of these instances are not met, it could mean you have a violation on your hands!
Bottom line, if you have collections, there is chance that your rights have been violated! Call us today so we can review your situation and see if the collection companies are in violation. This free review may help you get your collection deleted, settled, or even get you an violation award of up to $1000 (plus legal fees and damages!)