Debtors may think it ironic to file a case against abusive debt collectors and pay for considerable legal expenses when the reason collectors are after you is your failure to pay debts. You need not worry about such expenses if the collecting agency practices inappropriate conduct.
You will end up paying nothing if the debt collector is in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). One of the remedies offered by this legislation is the recovery of legal costs and attorney fees.
How FDCPA is Applied in Hawaii
The FDCPA is a national law enacted by Congress that protects consumers from practices of debt collectors that are, among others, inappropriate, abusive and misleading. In Hawaii, the debt collection laws on the state level mimic the FDCPA.
However, there are two main distinctions between the federal FDCPA and the local implementation of this statute in Hawaii, namely, the following:
- Treble damages – this refers to the awarding of damages for successful claims against debt collectors, which is three time the actual damages of the consumer or $1,000, whichever is higher; and,
- Statutory damage of $10,000 – this is the maximum amount that can be recovered by the debtor if he/she is more than 62 years old.
The FDCPA laws in Hawaii also provides for other remedies against debt collectors in violation of the FDCPA. A Hawaii FDCPA attorney can easily assist in determining the best course of action against them.
Hawaii’s Relevant Statute of Limitation
Debts may go stale over the years. This simply means that a statute of limitation is imposed on debts and in Hawaii, covering its cities like Honolulu, Kahuku and Kailua, the statute of limitation for consumer debts is 6 years. These consumer debts include the following:
- Credit card debts;
- Promissory notes;
- Debts acquired based on a written agreement; and,
- Orally agreed upon debts, such as unsigned notes.
Many creditors and collecting agencies that buy debts file cases against debtors despite knowing that the debt has gone stale. Another dirty tactic of some debt collectors for debts that went beyond the statute of limitation is to revive it by compelling the debtor to pay for it, even partially.
Any form of payment, no matter how little, will reactivate the debt and make it legally collectible again. A Hawaii FDCPA attorney can easily fend off these violators.
How a FDCPA Attorney in Hawaii Can Help
In situations where a debt collector is in violation of your rights under the FDCPA, you may seek the assistance of a Hawaii FDCPA attorney to make sure you are properly represented.
You can help him in your claim by providing concrete and strong evidence of abuse and inappropriateness on the part of the collecting agency. For instance, since Hawaii is a one party consent state, you may record your phone conversation with a debt collector without his knowledge and use that against him if he is indeed abusive.
The FDCPA also prohibits the sharing or discussion of your debt to third parties, except to your Hawaii FDCPA attorney or your spouse. This is otherwise called “third-party disclosures” and failure to comply with this is a “Foti” violation based on the landmark case Foti v. NCO Financial Systems.
This refers particularly to violations like leaving a message about your debt on your voicemail. If you experienced these kinds of situations, an FDCPA attorney in Hawaii can help you seek damages.
Get Your Free Evaluation
You can get an assessment of your situation at no cost. A Free Evaluation is available to you if you feel that your rights are violated under the FDCPA. Should you decide pursue a claim against your collecting agency after the evaluation, a licensed FDCPA attorney in Hawaii will be connected to you to give you expert assistance and guidance.