If you feel that collection agencies have violated your rights as a result of harassing and abusive phone calls, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) could help you to collect compensation, also called damages. The FDCPA was founded in a 1977. Today, the FDCPA gives protection to consumers against mistreatment and abuse from collection companies.
There are strict guidelines as to what collection companies can and cannot do in regard to consumers. Collection agencies are not allowed to be profane or threatening, contact other parties about your debt, or contact you outside of certain times.
Accounts that are being paid on time and have no issues will always be handled by the original creditor or lender that issued the debt. If one of your debts has been sent to collections, it usually means:
- The account is past due by a certain amount of time
- There have been notices sent to collect the payment that have not been successful.
- A company or department that specializes in collecting payment for delinquent accounts will now contact you about the loan and collect the payment. Usually, they receive a percentage based on the size of the loan.
If a debt of yours has been sent to collections:
- All contact should be through the collection agency and not the original lender.
- Work out a payment plan that you can use to pay off the debt.
- See if you can get negative or false information removed from credit reports
Often times, consumers have up to one year from the incident date to file a claim against an agency. Several methods exist that can be employed to file a claim against collectors who are believed to have violated the FDCPA. Consumers can file claims with:
- The state attorney general
- Small claims court
- The FTC
The best and most effective way to file, however, is in state court. Consumers will have the opportunity to not only show all relevant evidence in their claim, but the possible amount of damages that can be awarded are greatest in state court. Consulting an attorney will be easy, as many specialize in collection claims. They can be found by asking the bar association of the state, or searching online for collection attorneys.