In tough economic times, many consumers fall behind on bills. All that it takes is one medical emergency or being laid off at work to get off track. If you are late on your auto loan, credit cards, medical bills or mortgage, then you might have to deal with a debt collector. If so, you may be familiar with the harassment and bullying tactics used by debt collection services trying to make a buck.
Well, you are not alone. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there were almost $94 million in judgments against debt collectors in 2015. This number would be multiple times larger if more people took action against debt collectors. Consequently, they miss out on the compensation that they deserve. Most people don’t know their rights to fair debt collection treatment under federal laws. And debt collectors aren’t likely to go out of their way to tell consumers about their rights.
Harassment by Debt Collection Services
Being harassed by debt collectors can seriously impact your life. It might cause you to feel embarrassed, angry or ashamed. Your work, relationships, and health could suffer. Making things even worse are desperate debt collectors that will do anything to get consumers to pay— even if that means resorting to harassment, lies, and threats.
Fortunately, experienced FDCPA lawyers can help you get your life back on track. They can file a lawsuit against the debt collectors for their harassment.
Many people believe that debt collectors have the right to contact them anytime that they want to demand payments. However, that is not true. Consumers have rights too. You do not have to tolerate harassment, mistreatment or lies by debt collectors; they are all part of the FDCPA violations.
There is a debt law that protects consumers from unfair debt collection practices. It is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA. This law consists of a set of rules that debt collectors have to follow when it comes to the methods that they use to collect a debt. Types of debt that are subject to FDCPA rules include medical bills, auto loans, credit card bills, mortgage debt and more.
Debt Collection Laws
The Federal Trade Commission has set forth a set of debt collection guidelines that creditors must follow in the process of collecting a debt. When attempting to collect a debt, the collector is required to:
- Identify themselves as a debt collector.
- Provide you with the name of the creditor that you owe the debt to and let you know how much you owe.
- Contact you at times when it is convenient to you.
- Stop communicating with you directly if you have a lawyer.
A debt collector cannot:
- Threaten you with arrest if you say that you cannot pay.
- Attempt to collect a debt that you do not owe.
- Threaten to sue you if they do not intend on doing so.
- Call you after you have told them to stop.
- Threaten to post negative things on your credit report unless they plan to follow through.
- Demean you.
- Lie to you.
- Tell other people about the debt that you owe—there are a few exceptions to this rule. They can talk to your spouse, lawyer or parents if you are under the age of 18.
- Use obscene language or call you names.
- Call you without identifying themselves as a bill collector.
- Tell you that they are a government or law enforcement agent.
- Attempt to collect a debt that has been discharged in bankruptcy.
This is not a complete list of things that debt collectors are not allowed to do under the FDCPA. There are a variety of abusive debt collection practices, and it is not uncommon for someone to be the victim of an unethical debt collector.
To make debt collectors stop harassing you, you need an experienced FDCPA lawyer on your side. Don’t be afraid to protect yourself against debt collectors and exercise your rights in a court of law. If you have been the victim of unfair by debt collectors, then you might be entitled to compensation.
Here are some of the benefits of suing debt collectors:
- You might be able to collect damages for lost wages, emotional and physical distress.
- If you can prove that FDCPA violations were committed, you could be eligible for up to $1,000 in damages.
- In most cases, there are no out-of-pocket expenses to the debtor. If the court finds that the debt collector violated federal law, the collector will typically have to pay all lawyer’s fees and court costs—including those for the debtor.
Get Your Free Consultation with an FDCPA Lawyer Today!
The fact that you owe money does not give debt collectors the right to harass you. At Consumer Center for Resources, we believe that consumers have the right to fair debt collection.
We have the resources, experience and the ability to help you assert your rights to fair treatment. Reach out to us at (323) 842-1582 to be connected with an experienced lawyer today!
The consultation is free!