Consumers should look into the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) if they feel that they are subjected to harassing and abusing third party calls. They may be able to collect compensation, or damages. It was founded by an act on Congress in 1977. Its main goal is to protect consumers from unlawful and unethical collections practices. The FDCPA regulates that debt collectors may and may not conduct themselves in certain ways. Generally, the collection company may not contact customers outside of certain hours, use threatening or profane language, or contact other parties about a consumer’s debt.
With Spanish being the most common second language by far in the Unites States, and Hispanics being the second largest ethnic group, there is a need for collection agencies to provide Spanish-speaking representatives, and it would be a good business decision. Currently, FDCPA does not provide regulations on providing Spanish or other language speaking representatives.
If you do not feel comfortable speaking in English, ask for a representative who can speak your native language. If the agency cannot or will not provide you with someone who speaks your language, find an attorney or a conservator who would be willing to speak to the collection agency and translate for you.
A consumer can file a claim in several ways if he or she feels that the FDCPA was violated. A claim can be filed with state attorney general. Secondly, a claim can be filed with the FTC. Another option is to file in small claims court. The final, and most recommended method, is to file in state court. The chances of being able to present all evidence is the greatest here. Also, the possible damages settlement is highest in state court.
Usually, a consumer has one year from the incident date to file a claim. Many attorneys specialize in collection claims. It is highly reccomended you contact a qualified FDCPA attorney, as soon as you think your FDCPA rights have been violated.