PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT

My last post described your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The general types of debt collection practices that are prohibited by this law include harassment, abuse, misrepresentation and deception.

Did you know that a debt collector must send you a written notice stating the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and explaining how to dispute the debt within FIVE DAYS after you are first contacted?

If a debt collector violates the law, you have the right to sue the collector in state or federal court within ONE YEAR of the violation. You may recover up to $1,000 in statutory damages, any actual damages, plus attorney’s fees and court costs. Actual damages may include excessive amounts paid, mental distress, and damage to credit. In a class action, the debt collector may be liable for 1% of its net worth or $500,000, whichever is less, plus actual damages.

In order to protect your rights:

  1. Save copies of all letters, notices and correspondence you get from debt collectors. If you send them to us, we will analyze them for you without charge.
  2. Save all voice mails and telephone messages from debt collectors. Copy them onto an audio device.
  3. When dealing with a debt collector, make careful notes of who you talk to and what they say.
  4. Dispute in writing (not orally) all inaccurate statements and notices you get from a creditor or debt collector. Send a confirming letter after any conversations. Send correspondence by means that will generate proof of receipt (fax, certified mail, etc.).

Do you want to know more? Please contact us. 

If you believe you are being mistreated by a debt collector, I invite you to call me to discuss the situation.