Failure to pay debts is not uncommon. This represents past mistakes that one would want to forget, mend, or move on from.
However, it seems impossible to do when you have an annoying debt collector who would call you up to ten times a day to force you to pay your debt.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits this type of practice. This law doesn’t say that you don’t have to pay your debt, but it does protect you from being abused by the ruthless tactics of collection agencies.
Like many other states that fully implemented the federal FDCPA, Maine has its own state version of the FDCPA contained in its Maine Revised Statutes; Section §11001 is simply referred to as the Maine Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It is basically identical to the FDCPA in what it restricts.
Under the law, third-party debt collectors aren’t allowed to engage in the following:
- Abuse or harassment;
- Reporting to a consumer reporting agency;
- Misleading or false representations;
- Unfair practices; and,
- Reporting of administrative/court orders and unpaid medical bills.
As a one-party consent state, Maine allows individuals to record phone conversations without the permission of the other party. This gives the debtor a chance to record his phone exchanges with a debt collector who violates the Act.
The collector can violate the Act by using profane and insulting language, making threats or misleading representations, or using false claims. This kind of behavior can be used as evidence in a claim filed against collection agencies in violation of the federal FDCPA or Maine FDCPA.
Statute of Limitations in Maine
Creditors have power over debtors. Specifically, they have the right to sue them for failure to pay debts according to an agreed-upon schedule. However, there is a set period of time for creditors to do this, and it expires based on the statute of limitations imposed in the state.
In Maine, consumer debts such as promissory notes, credit card debts, and written and orally contracted debts have a 6 year statute of limitations.
If the statute of limitations has expired and a debt collector or creditor continues to annoy you with calls, there could be a few reasons for that:
- You may have made a mistake counting the number of years. Statutes of limitations will start at the time you breached your agreement with the lending merchant;
- Even if your statute of limitations has expired, collection agencies can still try to collect from you but will not be able to sue you; and,
- A judgment has already been made without you realizing it.
Therefore, to be certain of the status of your debt in relation to its statute of limitations, you can seek guidance from a Maine FDCPA attorney who is an expert on the matter. Should he find that you have enough proof against a debt collector to file an FDCPA violation claim, he can initiate a claim on your behalf.
How a Maine FDCPA Attorney Can Help
There are many ways an FDCPA attorney in Maine can help you. If you do not want to deal with the debt collector at all, you can inform him that he should contact your Maine FDCPA attorney instead.
If on the other hand, you feel that what the collection agency is doing to you violates your rights under the FDCPA, you can file a claim for damages through your FDCPA attorney in Maine.
In cases where it is the creditor or the collection agency that sued you for failure to pay your debt, it will also be your Maine FDCPA attorney who can help you deal with them and even make the necessary payment arrangement that is convenient for you.
Whether you reside in the small cities of Maine or in Portland, you will be protected by the FDCPA from abusive debt collectors. Contact an FDCPA attorney in Maine if you believe your situation calls for a claim for damages.
Get a Free Evaluation
You have the chance of being relieved of the strain and hassle caused by a debt collector. Get a free evaluation now and you will learn about your rights and the law that you can use against the debt collectors. A claim for damages can be filed by a Maine FDCPA attorney on your behalf at your request.