The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that protects
consumers from unethical and unfair debt collection practices. The law
came about after Congress decided to take action against abusive debt
collection practices and by providing consumers with means to dispute
and validate debt information.
If a creditor violates the FDCPA by calling a consumer outside of allowed
hours, refusing to stop contacting a consumer, or by using threatening
or abusive language, the person who supposedly owes the debt has several
options for enforcing the law.
First, the consumer can report the illegal actions to the appropriate government
agency. Consumers can
file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) who is in charge of overseeing
debt collection actions. Alternatively, the consumer can report the creditor
to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB will work
directly with the creditor to attempt to resolve the complaint.
Additionally, the consumer can file a complaint with various state agencies,
like the state Attorney General. The Attorney General’s office keeps
track of creditors who consistently break the law to enforce debt. If
the office receives enough complaints against a particular creditor, the
state may file a lawsuit against that company to stop the abuse.
Second, the consumer has the option of filing a lawsuit directly against
the creditor. The consumer can file this lawsuit in regular state court
or in small claims court, depending on the amount of the debt. While small
claims court moves faster and often does not require the help of an attorney,
the amount of the case is limited by state law. In contrast, suing in
state court allows consumers to deal with more complicated lawsuits for
larger amounts of money. If the consumer is successful, he or she may
receive thousands of dollars in damages as well as money for attorney’s
fees and court costs.
Finally, consumers can use violations of the FDCPA to negotiate a resolution
of the debt. Since violating the FDCPA is illegal, many companies who
use these tactics would rather resolve the debt that spend time and money
defending their actions in court.
If you owe money to a creditor, you don’t have to put with abusive
debt collection tactics. At Loan Lawyers, our attorneys will help you
consider your options to stop the abuse, and can help you recover damages
for any FDCPA violations at no cost to you. To schedule your free consultation,
contact Loan Lawyers today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).