You receive a letter from Acceptance Now, LLC demanding you pay off an outstanding credit card debt. A few days later, the phone calls begin, with a representative from the debt collection agency using profanity and issuing threats. Do you have to endure this level of verbal abuse?
The answer is no.
Passed by the United States Congress in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits a long list of third party debt collector tactics that were previously considered commonplace.
The enactment of the FDCPA motivated virtually every state to follow suit with its own version of the federal consumer protection law. Not only does the FDCPA ban certain bill collector practices, it also gives consumers the right to address legal grievances by filing a civil lawsuit seeking the awarding of monetary damages.
Do You Have What It Takes to File a Claim?
The first thing on your to do list involves contacting a licensed consumer protection attorney that specializes in adjudicating FDCPA cases. Your lawyer will have a thorough understanding of what debt collection agencies can and cannot do when trying to collect delinquent consumer credit card and personal loan balances.
For example, a third party debt collector such as Acceptance Now, LLC is not allowed to threaten to seize your property in an attempt to liquidate the property to settle an outstanding debt.
A bill collector cannot threaten you physically and if you receive a physical threat, your FDCPA attorney will consider working with a law enforcement agency to file criminal charges.
Under the FDCPA, debt collection agencies are prohibited from using deception to coerce consumers into paying off credit card and personal loan accounts. Deception can come in the form of a third party debt collector impersonating the IRS or a law enforcement agency.
A bill collector is forbidden to contact friends and family members, which represents a common tactic used to bring shame into your life. Nothing motivates consumers more into clearing their good financial names than having someone close to then exerting pressure to settle a delinquent consumer debt.
Monetary Damages You Can Claim
At the very least, you can win a statutory award up to $1,000 when you file a civil lawsuit against Acceptance Now, LLC. Statutory damages cover every violation of the FDCPA, not $1,000 for each violation of the landmark consumer protection law.
However, your FDCPA attorney might try to recover financial compensation for violations that have caused you considerable physical and/or emotional distress. The key factor for winning monetary damages is to have your lawyer conclusively prove the actions of a debt collection agency directly led to your physical and/or emotional issues.
Evidence includes written documentation signed by a licensed healthcare professional, as well as the testimony of medical experts that will confirm the presence of physical and/or emotional duress. Examples of physical distress include breaking out in skin rashes and suffering from chronically high blood pressure.
Speak with an experienced consumer protection attorney today to ensure you receive every right granted by the FDCPA.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Acceptance Now, LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.