The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that puts debt collectors in their proper place. This piece of legislation establishes the rules that collectors need to observe when collecting debts.
Their conduct, words and acts have to be in compliance with the FDCPA or you can sue them for damages if you felt harassed, abused, disrespected, bullied or annoyed when they come after you for your debts. This means that just as these collecting agencies have the right to collect, you also have a legal right to be dealt with appropriately by them.
Arizona went a step further in its implementation of the FDCPA through the Arizona Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is the state version of the FDCPA which does not only considers abusive practices of debt collectors to be illegal, but criminalizes them too.
This Arizona statute forbids collecting agencies from tactics and techniques in collecting which may be considered, among others, as unfair, intrusive, deceptive, abusive, vindictive, harassing and oppressive.
Part of the Arizona FDCPA is the requirement for collection agencies to be duly licensed and to put up a bond to be able to engage in collecting debts. The employees, not just the collectors, are obliged to conduct their business honestly, fairly and openly.
Some of the specific prohibitions of the Arizona FDCPA include the following:
- Using documents that resemble judicial papers, government letterheads and other official looking communication to instill fear;
- Trying to collect fees, costs and other expenses that debtor is not supposed to pay;
- Pretending to practice law;
- Falsely providing the impression that the conduct of collecting is on the state government’s behalf; and,
- Misrepresentation of the actual debt being collected.
Violation of the Arizona FDCPA is a class 1 misdemeanor and the best person to advise you whether or not a collector violated your rights is a licensed Arizona FDCPA attorney.
Statute of Limitation for Debts
Debt collection has a statute of limitation in Arizona depending on how the debt was made. For those made under oral contracts, the statute of limitation is 3 years while it is 6 years for written contracts. For promissory notes, it is 5 years while it is 3 years for credit card debts.
This means that collecting agencies can no longer file a legal case against you after the statute of limitation expired. An Arizona FDCPA attorney can guide you about the time of default of your debts and its corresponding statute of limitation to rid you of your fears of getting sued.
How an Arizona FDCPA Attorney Can Help You
If your debt collector is abusive, an Arizona FDCPA attorney is the best person to provide you with legal assistance. Two cases can actually be filed against a collecting agency in Arizona for the same FDCPA violation.
The FDCPA allows you to claim for damages before a federal court while the Arizona law authorizes you to initiate a criminal case against the collecting agency. Remember that Arizona criminalizes violation of the FDCPA through the Arizona Act.
A FDCPA attorney in Arizona will be able to discern the strengths of your case and give you the best advice on whether to simply file for damages or pursue a criminal case. As an individual, you cannot file a criminal case against the collector.
You will need to report it to the county or city prosecutor, who should file the case. You may choose to take both paths.
All these can be easily done by your Arizona FDCPA attorney on your behalf. Whether you reside in Phoenix or in Holbrook, you will be able to connect to a FDCPA attorney since these legislations are enforced throughout the entire state.
You may end up paying for nothing if your Arizona attorney is able to claim recovery of attorney’s fees for you.
Get a Free Evaluation
A Free Evaluation of your situation is readily available to you. If feel that you debt collector is going beyond his legal rights with his actions, it is best to know your legal stand. After your Free Evaluation can immediately connect you with an Arizona FDCPA attorney who can best provide you with answers.
You will end up being the one to collect for damages from the collecting agency.