It has been the practice of a number of collecting agencies to buy off debts from creditors at a very cheap price even if they have gone beyond the statute of limitation.
Many of these collectors rely on default judgements or abusive tactics to force debtors to pay up their old debts even if they are not capable of doing so. Many of these practices are prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and consumers should know their rights under this law so as not to be deceived.
The FDCPA is a federal law that applies only against debt collectors, not creditors. In California, the FDCPA is broadened further to offer consumers wider protection via the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (CFDCPA). Under this state legislation, even creditors can be liable.
Therefore, if you have a credit card debt, both the collecting agency and the actual credit card company could be held liable under the CFDCPA, otherwise called the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA).
There are many ways by which a debt collector, as defined in the CFDCPA, can be held liable. They are not allowed to perform misleading, deceptive and false conduct when collecting debts. They may not do inappropriate acts, such as the following:
- calling during unusual hours;
- divulge private and personal information;
- pretend to be lawyers;
- use profanities;
- threaten to sue, etc.
One common problem as illustrated in a New York Times report, featuring a California FDCPA case Victoria Byers v. Professional Collection Consultants et al, is that collecting agencies that buy off debts from creditors still file cases against debts that have gone past its statute of limitation.
To be better protected, an FDCPA attorney in California will help you deal with abusive collectors and keep you well-abreast about your rights according to the law.
Statute of Limitation of Debts in California
In the Byer’s case, the defendant was forced to drop the case it filed against Byers for the latter’s failure to pay since they were impelled to admit that they filed a case even if the debt has gone beyond the statute of limitation.
In California, the statute of limitation is 4 years for debts based on promissory notes and written contracts, as well as credit card debts. For debts based on oral agreements, the statute of limitation is 3 years. This means beyond this time period, a creditor can no longer file a case against you for failure to pay.
However, many are not aware of it but in many states, debt collectors who manage to induce debtors to pay even just a small amount of their debt that has gone beyond the statute of limitation will restart the clock.
No debt collector will inform you of this information so it is best to be protected by a California FDCPA attorney to make sure your rights will not be violated.
Get Help from a California FDCPA Attorneys
So as not to be deceived into paying expired debts for fear of being sued, your best weapon is your California FDCPA attorney who can easily ward off debt collectors who are violating your rights. He can also help you manage debt payment in a manner most convenient to you, if you prefer.
Residents of Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento or even Sonoma, will be able to go after erring collectors under the CFDCPA through the help of a California FDCPA attorney since this law is enforced in the entire state.
Ask for a Free Evaluation
You need to know your rights so that debt collectors will not be able to deceive you. A Free Evaluation of your case is available to you and should it be found that claim for damages is likely to favour you, a licensed California FDCPA attorney can immediately be referred to you to help you go after these debt collectors.