Before September 20, 1977, American consumers were at the mercy of debt collection agencies, many of which used extortion like tactics to force consumers into paying off delinquent credit card and personal loan balances.
In response to the growing outcry against third party debt collector practices, the United States Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The groundbreaking federal law has become the ultimate consumer bill of rights.
Congress adopted the FDCPA primarily to put into place a comprehensive law that granted consumers legal protections in each of the 50 states. The FDCPA presents a lengthy list of forbidden bill collector actions, from calling consumers frequently throughout the day to impersonating a member of a law enforcement agency.
No law is worth much without including punitive provisions, and the FDCPA is no different. The consumer protection law grants consumers the right to seek monetary damages for one or more violations.
Determining if You Have a FDCPA Claim
Did you know that a debt collection agency cannot take money out of your bank account, without first obtaining a court approved wage garnishment order? Even if a bill collector gains a wage garnishment order, the FDCPA permits each state to set a statute of limitations for collecting an outstanding consumer debt.
The FDCPA makes it illegal for a debt collection agency like Debt Management Partners, LLC to put your name on a bad debt list in an attempt to humiliate you. A third party debt collector cannot try to collect a debt you have already paid off, as well as try to collect more money that you actually owe.
One of the most important provisions in the FDCPA involves debt collection agency phone calls. According to the FDCPA, third party debt collectors can call consumers at home and on cell phones between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm. How do you prove a bill collector called you deep into the night?
If you live in a one party consent state, you can tape record a phone conversation that includes a time stamp. You do not need the permission of any other party participating in the phone conversation.
To ensure you receive the full legal protections granted by the FDCPA, you should work with a licensed consumer protection attorney that specializes in FDCPA cases.
Do You Qualify for Monetary Damages?
The FDCPA permits consumers to file a lawsuit against debt collection agencies. Your lawsuit might involve a one-time statutory damage, which is up to $1,000 for all the violations of the landmark consumer protection law.
If you have suffered from physical and/or emotional distress, the FDCPA allows you to seek monetary damages that are not financially capped. Emotional duress is harder to prove than suffering from easier to detect physical ailments.
Your FDCPA attorney will know exactly how to prove the presence of the emotional damage caused by the actions of a bill collector. You also have the right under the FDCPA to recover monetary damages for lost wages, as well as any money garnished from your paycheck.
Lost wages typically involve lost work time caused by the negative impact of illegal debt collection agency tactics.
Speak with a highly rated consumer protection lawyer today to learn more about how the FDCPA protects you against aggressive third party debt collector tactics.
*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 Debt Management Partners, LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.