The FDCPA, which stands for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, is available to help those that believe that collection agencies are harassing and treating them unlawfully. The FDCPA is regulated and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. There are a number of things that debt collectors must follow and many things that they must avoid. It usually applies to companies that purchase debts from original debtors. Please contact the FTC or a debt collection attorney to investigate any possible violations if you feel that your rights have been violated.
Because of the number of debt collection attorneys and the different expertise levels and ways of operating, the fees of these attorneys often vary. Also, the ways in which they collect payment will vary as well. Three popular ways of collecting payment are an hourly rate, a flat fee and a retainer, which means that you will pay an attorney a certain amount regularly to retain their legal services.
Many debt collection attorneys operate on a contingency basis, meaning that they will take a percentage of the settlement that you are awarded, provided that you win the case. It is best to seek out an attorney who has experience with and specializes in collection claims. If you know someone who has taken a collection agency to court with a favorable result, you could ask for a reference.
Sit down with any potential attorney and ask about their fees and fee collection, if you will need to pay for anything additional (such as records, expert witnesses, etc) and how the legal process will go forth. All of this information should be outlined in the contract between you and the attorney. Any attorney should provide you with a copy of the contact.
Contact your state bar association or do a search online to find an attorney who specializes in FDCPA claims. Also, a referral can help to find these attorneys. Because you may have question and concerns to address to a potential attorney, it is recommended to have a phone conversation and then a face-to-face meeting. This is the time to present any evidence that you have in your claim. After the consultations, an attorney will inform you if they are willing to represent you and if so, what the next steps are. It is wise to consult with at least a few attorneys before making a decision.