You arrive home from work one day to find a letter in the mailbox from a debt collection agency. After reading the letter, you begin to panic because the company has issued a threat to sue you for an outstanding consumer debt.
Fortunately, a federal consumer protection law enacted by the United States Congress makes it illegal for a third party debt collector to threaten you in any way.
In fact, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes it illegal for bill collectors such as Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC to conduct business as debt collection business was conducted before September 20, 1977.
The FDCPA contains a provision that permits consumers to file claims against debt collection agencies that break the federal consumer protection law.
Do You Have a Valid Claim?
There is only one way to find out if you have a valid FDCPA claim: You have to work with a licensed FDCPA lawyer. The FDCPA prohibits several types of threats, including a threat to seize your private property for liquidation into cash.
Some third party debt collectors want consumers to think that it is lawful for the companies to steal private property to settle delinquent credit card and personal loan accounts. Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC cannot threaten to contact a third party regarding your debt.
Shame is a powerful motivator, and an unethical company will try to shame you into paying off a debt by threatening to reach out to a friend or a family member.
What Damages are Available under the FDCPA?
The United States Congress gave the FDCPA teeth by granting consumers the right to file claims seeking statutory damages and monetary damages. Statutory damages represent a one-time financial award that punishes a bill collector for every FDCPA violation committed by the company.
The FDCPA allows consumer to receive statutory damages up to $1,000 for all violations of the monumental federal consumer protection law.
You also have the right to file a claim seeking monetary damages, which can cover lost wages and the money garnished out of your paychecks to close out a delinquent consumer debt.
Your FDCPA lawyer will need documentation of lost wages and/or garnished paychecks, before he or she moves forward with a claim against Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC.
Have an FDCPA Lawyer by Your Side
Trying to beat a bill collector by yourself will inevitably end up with you paying the company what you owe on an outstanding consumer debt. With a licensed consumer protection attorney in your legal corner, you will even the legal playing field with Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, Inc.
Your attorney might decide to file a claim or instead, try to negotiate a settlement of the debt in question. Working with an experienced FDCPA lawyer ensures you explore every legal option available under the federal consumer protection law.
Be proactive when you face down an overly aggressive bill third party debt collector. Schedule a free initial consultation with a highly rated FDCPA attorney today.
*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 Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.