The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) was enacted to protect consumers from the deceptive and unscrupulous practices of debt collectors. The FDCPA is very strict, so it clearly states what a debt collector can and cannot do. A debt collector can only make collection calls between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The collection agency cannot harass, make idle threats or threaten physical harm. The amount of the debt cannot be misrepresented, and the collection agency must properly identify themselves. They must provide you with written proof of the debt if you request they do so.
Can I Sue a Collection Agency for Violating the FDCPA?
If the collection agency violates the FDCPA, you can take legal action. The allow gives you different options. Which option you choose is dependent on your goals. You could file a formal complaint against the collection agency with a government entity. In that case, they will be fined and reprimanded.
You can also sue in small claims court. You can represent yourself there, but you are very limited on the amount of damages that you can recover. To recover the maximum amount allowed, you will need to enlist the help of a FDCPA attorney. This lawyer will help you pursue your claim in state court. You can recover $1,000 statutory damages and compensation for actual damages in addition to legal expenses, court costs, and attorney’s fees. While the state court lawsuit goes slower, you can recover more for your damages.
What are Some Common FDCPA Violations That Lead to Suing a Collection Agency?
There are several ways that a collection agency can violate the FDCPA, but some of them are much more common than others. Here are a few reasons that consumers sue a collection agency for violating the FDCPA:
- Harassing phone calls
- Threatening harm or threatening inappropriate legal action
- Calling outside the allowed hours
- Misrepresenting the debt
- Telling someone else about your debts
- Calling you at work after being told not to
If any of these things have happened to you, you can pursue legal action against the collection agency. You will need to maintain documentation that shows the date, time and contact names for all calls, keep voicemails, numbers on caller ID, and all written correspondence. You will need to have documentation and evidence to support your claim. Record as many calls as you can, so you can prove what was said and when it took place.
Consult With An Attorney If A Collection Agency Violated the FDCPA
If a collection agency violated the FDCPA and you are interested in suing, consult with a FDCPA lawyer in your state. There is no charge for the initial consultation and many FDCPA attorneys work on a contingency basis. With the help of a lawyer, you can stop the harassment and recover compensation for your losses. Get your free case evaluation today because time is of the essence. Don’t wait until it is too late to take action.