The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted to protect consumers from illegal and unscrupulous debt collection practices. This act limits the activities of debt collectors and debt collection agencies and allows consumers to take legal recourse if these regulations are violated during the collections process.
The FDCPA indicates that collectors cannot call before a specific time in the morning, after a certain time in the evening, threaten you with physical harm, or call frequently to annoy or abuse you. Cursing at you or making inappropriate comments also classify as harassment. You can sue a collection agency for harassment.
What Classifies as Collection Agency Harassment When Filing a Lawsuit?
There are several ways that a debt collector could harass someone. Here are a few examples, such as:
- Repetitive phone calls to abuse, annoy, or harass the debtor or anyone answering the phone at the place of employment or the home.
- Threatening harm or violence.
- Calling you and refusing to reveal who they are.
- Using obscene or profane language.
- Publishing lists of those who fail to pay their debts – this doesn’t include credit bureau reporting.
When a debt collector calls you, be sure to document the calls. Write down the collection agency name, the phone number from where the call originated, the date and time of the call and what was said.
To show you were harassed, you will need evidence that backs up the allegations. If others answered the calls, you will need them to give statements as well. If you have received threatening voice mail messages or written correspondence, be sure you keep those to use in court as evidence when you sue a collection agency for harassment.
Deciding to Sue a Collection Agency for Harassment
If a collection agency has harassed you, they have violated the FDCPA. You have the right to pursue legal action against the debt collector or the debt collection agency. You have the right to pursue a claim in small claims court, which does not require the help of an attorney.
While this process could go much more quickly, the amount you could be awarded is significantly less than what you would receive through a lawsuit filed in state court. You will need an attorney for a state court case, but you can receive $1,000 for statutory damages, compensation for any other harm that you might suffer because of the collector’s act, and your attorney’s fees and court costs.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney Before You Sue a Collection Agency for Harassment
If you have been harassed by a collection agency, you should consult with a FDCPA attorney who practices in your state. The lawyer will review the details of your case, along with any evidence and documentation that you might have, to determine the best way to proceed with a lawsuit against the debt collector for harassment.
You can sue a collection agency for harassment, so make sure your rights are protected and you have everything for a successful claim. Get your free case review from a lawyer who handles FDCPA cases today.