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What Are Your Options If a Debt Collector Violates The FDCPA?

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).