Debt collectors can be a huge pain. They will undertake different tactics just to collect from a debtor. Many of them practice collection techniques that go beyond proper. In fact, the death of a debtor does not stop them.
According to The Wall Street Journal, it was reported that after the death of her husband, 68-year old Linda Long was contacted by a collection firm as many as 10 times daily to collect her husband’s credit card debt amounting to $16,651.52.
However, what the law seems to indicate is that family members generally have no obligation to pay their deceased relative’s debts from their own assets. Practices such as this are prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Federal FDCPA and the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act
The FDCPA is a federal law that covers all debt collectors. It prohibits inappropriate practices in collecting debts. All states in the country implement this law and many of them, including Maryland, enact their own statutes to support the FDCPA.
The Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act (MCDCA) extends the reach of law by including the original creditors in its restrictions. It also has a broader coverage than the FDCPA, which only concerns debt collection, such as, estates, individuals, and any other kinds of legal and business entities.
Among the prohibitions imposed by the MCDCA includes the following:
- Third party communications
Statutes of Limitations of Debts in Maryland
Aside from the hassle and stress that a debt collector can cause you, the ultimate power a creditor can have over you is the filing of a legal complaint and getting a judgment in their favor. It is therefore a relief to know that a statute of limitation is imposed on defaulting debts. This is a set time limit by which a creditor can sue you over your debt.
In Maryland, the statute of limitation for credit card debts and debts acquired via an oral and written contract is 3 years. For promissory notes, the statute of limitation is 6 years. Beyond this time, you cannot be sued by a creditor for your debt.
However, it is important to note that if you pay even just a small amount of your debt which has already gone beyond its statute of limitation, you will reactivate it and restart the time limit from the beginning.
Given the number of applicable consumer and collection laws that may be applied in your situation, as well as the exceptions that may come with them, it is best to get the guidance of a Maryland FDCPA attorney.
What an FDCPA Attorney in Maryland Can Do for You
A Maryland FDCPA attorney can help you invoke your rights against debt collectors and creditors who violate the FDCPA and the MCDCA. If there are instances where the collector discloses false information about you, you may claim for damages under the MCDCA.
However, you will carry the burden of proof that the collector knew the information to be false. Violation of the MCDCA could result to the revocation of a collecting agency’s license.
Under the FDCPA, the debtor only needs to show that the collecting agency is in violation of the federal FDCPA. Your Maryland FDCPA attorney can help you determine what you need to do to make sure you have a strong claim against them.
You may be awarded an amount for actual damages and remedies for mental anguish and emotional distress.
If you reside in Baltimore, Rockville, or even Snowhill, you can get the protection of both the FDCPA and the MCDCA as it covers the entire state of Maryland. An FDCPA attorney in Maryland can connect to you in no time if you find the need to claim for remedies.
Ask for Free Evaluation
Everybody should know the law to be able to invoke their rights. Get your Free Evaluation now and know more about the FDCPA and MCDCA laws, and how you can use it against an abusive debt collector that hounds you.
Should it be assessed that a claim for damages is the best route to take, a Maryland FDCPA attorney will immediately be connected to you to help you.