The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in 1977. Since then, the FDCPA has protected millions of consumers from harassment and abuse from third-party debt collectors. The FDCPA is currently enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC.
How Are You Protected?
The FDCPA protects you from most types of debt: personal debt, credit card debt, car loans, mortgage debt, and medical debt. The only type of debt the FDCPA doesn't cover is debt owed from starting or running a personal business. The FDCPA also does not protect you from from any abusive tactics from original creditors. This means that if you owe a bank money, the bank isn't barred from using abusive tactics under the FDCPA. If you're unsure if your debt qualifies for protection, you should speak with an FDCPA attorney.
Common FDCPA Violations
There are many ways a third-party debt collector could harass you. Some of the most common violations include:
- Calling you before 8:00 A.M., or after 9:00 P.M. your time.
- Discussing your debt with uninvolved third parties
- Calling you endlessly throughout the day
- Calling you after you've written a cease and desist letter
- Failing to verify your debt
- Asking you to pay more than you actually owe
If a third-party collector has done one or more of these illegal activities, you should speak with a debt collection attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and end the harassment.
Damages You Might Be Owed
If a third-party debt collector does in fact violate the FDCPA, you have the right to sue the collector for damages. If a judge finds the debt collector guilty of his or her charges and in violation of the FDCPA, he or she will need to pay you up to $1,000 per violation. You could be entitled to additional damages if you've suffered physically or emotionally from the abuse.
For example, you might be eligible for additional payments if you can prove that you lost sleep over the stress from the third-party collector's harassment, or you had to miss work due to the abuse. Debt collectors may be liable for up to $500,000 in additional damages, depending on how severe the harassment was in your claim. If you believe you may be entitled to more than $1,000, an FDCPA attorney can help evaluate your claim.
Get Help Today: Speak With an Attorney
If you win your FDCPA claim, keep in mind that you'll still have to pay your debt to the original creditor. To start your FDCPA claim, you should speak with an FDCPA lawyer as soon as possible. Get in contact with an attorney in your area for a Free Evaluation above.