Consumers are protected from deceptive debt collection practices through the Federal Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA). This Act has very precise and detailed laws that collection agencies must adhere to when contacting creditors and trying to collect debts. If the collection agency harasses you or attempts to use deceptive practices when collecting the debt, you can sue the collection agency.
When you sue a collection agency, you are not only protecting your rights but also helping stop the debt collector from mistreating other consumers as well. Being contacted about a debt can be an emotional time. Regardless of whether you owe the debt or not, you deserve to be treated fairly. You should be proactive and talk with a FDCPA attorney right away.
What Are Illegal Practices According to the FDCPA and When Can I Sue?
The FDCPA indicates that debt collectors may call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Calls outside those hours, without permission, are illegal. Debt collectors cannot misrepresent a debt and they must provide you with proof of the debt if you request it. Collection agencies cannot threaten you with physical harm, threaten to have you arrested, or use obscene language.
They cannot threaten a lawsuit against you unless they intend to file suit. They cannot threaten to garnish your wages unless they have undertaken the proper legal protocol, which consists of taking you to court and getting a judgment for the delinquent debt. Then, if you don’t pay the judgment within the specified timeframe, they can request a wage garnishment.
Can I Sue a Collection Agency?
You have the right to sue a collection agency if they harass you or if they violate the FDCPA. You can sue in small claims court. At that level you can represent yourself and present the evidence to a judge. The judge might rule at the hearing or might send out the ruling later. You are limited on how much you can recover from small claims court. Your state laws establish those amounts.
You can recover more by enlisting the help of a FDCPA attorney and suing the collection agency in state court. There you can get $1,000 in statutory damages, actual damages, court costs, legal fees, and attorney’s fees. When you sue the collection agency in state court, you can recoup much more for your losses. So, should you sue a collection agency? If you are being harassed and they have caused you damages, yes, you should take legal action against them.
Consult With A FDCPA Attorney About Whether You Should Sue a Collection Agency
If you have been harassed by a collection agency or if you believe the FDCPA has been violated by deceptive collection practices, you should consult with a FDCPA attorney. There is no fee for the initial consultation with an attorney and many FDCPA lawyers will work on a contingency basis, so you have no out of pocket expenses. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to get in contact with a lawyer licensed in your state.