If Leikin, Ingber, & Winters contacts you in Michigan, the debt collection agency must follow several legal guidelines set forth by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Enacted by the United States Congress in 1977, the FDCPA prohibits third party debt collectors from abusing and threatening consumers, as well as using deceptive tactic to collect outstanding debts.
Like other states, Michigan passed its own version of the FDCPA to fill in the legal blanks left by the landmark federal law. Michigan law 339.901 through 339.930 covers third party debt collectors, but it does not pertain to banks, lenders, and law firms.
By speaking with a licensed Michigan consumer protection lawyer, you might have a strong enough case under the FDCPA and/or Michigan law 339.901-339.930 to file a claim.
Does Michigan Law Define the Statutes of Limitations?
One of the first legal issues Michigan legislators addressed was the statute of limitations for collecting debts. The statute of limitation for debt collection starts on the date of the last payment made by a consumer.
Third party debt collectors must seek a judgment to collect delinquent debts. The window for seeking a judgment against a consumer is six years, with judgments carrying a 10-year lifespan until third party debt collectors must seek renewal.
Fees and Interest Charged by Debt Collectors
Third party debt collectors purchase consumer debts from original creditors for a percentage of what consumers owe. The percentage paid for original debts often is less than 25 cents on the dollar. Third party debt collectors pad already large profit margins by tacking on fees and interest charges.
In Michigan, fees and interest must stop accruing immediately after an original creditor charges off a debt. This means a third party debt collector cannot not charge you additional fees and interest charges on a debt it is attempting to collect from you.
Debt Collectors and Wage Garnishment
Michigan law clearly requires third party debt collectors to win judgments in court to gain the legal authority to garnish wages for the settlement of consumer debts. However, debt collectors can come after consumers without earning a judgment in court for debts such as alimony, back taxes, and child support.
After winning a judgment, third party debt collectors must follow a wage garnishment formula mandated by Michigan law. The formula is the lesser amount between 25% of a consumer’s disposable income and the federal minimum wage times 30.
For example, if you clear $400 per week and the federal minimum wage is $7.90, a third party debt collector has the legal power to garnish $100.
Speak with a Qualified Lawyer
A Michigan licensed consumer protection lawyer will ensure you receive all the legal protections granted by the FDCPA and Michigan law. The key to defeating third party debt collectors is to be proactive, which means speaking with a lawyer before a debt collector wins a judgment against you.
A lawyer can also help you file a claim to seek monetary damages for debt collector behavior that violates 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 Leikin, Ingber, & Winters or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.