It’s your money. Know your rights!
Debt Collectors and Consumers
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a body of federal laws to protect consumers from unscrupulous debt collection activities including harassing phone calls and false and misleading communications. If you have an issue or problem with a debt collector that you feel has violated your rights, contact Hurt Stolz, P.C. Consumer Protection Attorneys today!
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector MUST:
- Identify who they are and advise the consumer at each and every communication that the communication is coming from a debt collector. In the first communication, the collector must also inform the consumer that any information obtained will be used for purposes of debt collection.
- Send written correspondence to the consumer’s home address within 5 days of the first communication identifying who they are, who they are collecting on behalf of, and the balance owed. In addition, the correspondence must advise the consumer that they have the right to dispute the debt, and have 30 days to demand that the debt collector validate the debt.
- If the consumer seeks the validation, then the collector must discontinue all attempts to collect the debt until such time as the debt collector provides verification.
- In the event of obtaining a post dated payment instrument, provide written notice of the intent to deposit the post dated instrument.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector CANNOT:
- Call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. or at any time that the debt collector has been given notice that it is inconvenient to call (15 U.S.C. § 1692c)
- Tell other people (friends, family, neighbors) about the fact that a debt is owed. (15 U.S.C. § 1692b)
- Call the consumer’s place of employment if they have been advised that calls cannot be accepted at work. (15 U.S.C. § 1692c)
- Use any profane language or any language that is harassing and abusive. (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Engage in any conduct, the natural consequence of which is to harass, abuse or oppress. (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Make any misrepresentations of fact, such as how much is owed, or certain actions they may take to force payment. (15 U.S.C. § 1692e)
- Threaten arrest or criminal prosecution. (15 U.S.C. § 1692e)
- Send false information to the credit bureaus (15 U.S.C. § 1692e)
- Cause a telephone to ring an unreasonable amount of times (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
If a debt collector has engaged in any of the above conduct that is not allowed by the FDCPA statute of limitations, or has been deceptive to you in any other way, contact our office for a free case review.
What can you recover under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
- Make the collectors stop contacting you.
- Recover any actual damages suffered, and/or a statutory damage of up to $1,000
- Attorneys fees and court costs.