They say that if you ignore something long enough, it will eventually go away. The person that crafted the timeless adage must never have met a debt collection agency. Consumers cannot simply sweep delinquent debts under the proverbial rug and expect debt collectors to give up the fight.
Debt collectors are notorious for being unrelenting attack dogs for original creditors that sell off consumer debts for fractions of what consumers owe.
After a debt collector purchases a debt for pennies on the dollar, the incredible profit margin alone is reason enough to come after you until the debt is resolved. You should never ignore a debt collection agency, but you can make the letters and phone calls stop.
An Introduction to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
From the first consumer debt to September 20, 1977, consumers had little legal protections against the unscrupulous debt collection practices used by third party debt collectors. Threats, abuse, and deception were some of the ways debt collectors forced consumers to pay off outstanding debts.
The United States Congress leveled the playing field in 1977 by passing the landmark Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Third party debt collectors cannot use intimidating tactics to collect debts or deceive consumers into paying off debts they do not owe.
Congress enacted the FDCPA, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was granted the power to fill in the legal blanks.
Reach Out to an Attorney
Ignoring a third party debt collector exacerbates the problem. If you ignore a debt collector long enough, the agency might initiate legal action against you that includes a request for wage garnishment.
One of the ways the FTC has filled in the legal blanks created by the FDCPA involved allowing consumers to send cease and desist orders to third party debt collectors.
This important consumer protection provision of the FDCPA requires the expertise of a licensed and experienced consumer protection law attorney. You need the legal guidance to write a compelling cease and desist letter that follows every legal stipulation spelled out by the FTC.
A cease and desist order demands a debt collector must refrain from making further contact with you.
What a Cease and Desist Letter Should Include
Your attorney will make sure the name of the debt collector, as well as the amount owed for a debt, is listed at the top of a cease and desist letter. Language used in the letter should clearly inform the debt collector to comply with the cease and desist request.
Under the FDCPA, the debt collector can only contact you again to verify reception of the cease and desist letter or to inform you of the agency’s intent to file a lawsuit to collect the debt.
Your attorney will also ensure the cease and desist letter reminds the third part debt collector about the legal ramifications of not abiding by the request. Violators of the FDCPA might have to pay statutory and/or actual damages.
The FDCPA caps statutory damages at $1,000, while actual damages do not have a monetary limit. Complete the free evaluation today form to speak with a consumer protection law attorney.