When a debt collector harassed housewife Diana Mey based on an old credit card debt of her son who moved out 8 years ago, she ended up being awarded by the court more than $10 million in damages, thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The debt collector kept calling and leaving messages on her answering machine. He also threatened to sue her son, put a lien on her property, and made hang-up calls with the Sheriff’s office showing in her caller ID done through “spoofing.”
The final straw is when the man called her using a vulgar slur and threatened to sexually assault her, making her shake in fear and forcing her to place her husband’s gun beside her bed all night. Fortunately, she managed to record the call and used it as evidence in court against the debt collector.
She was favored with a default judgment for the failure of the collecting agency to attend the hearing.
The FDCPA can also serve as your protection against similar abusive debt collectors for it prohibits various unfair practices such as harassment, intrusion, deception, deceit, false representations, and many more.
New Jersey FDCPA
New Jersey implements the federal FDCPA through its own New Jersey FDCPA contained in the state’s 214th Legislature Assembly 1700. This local law supports the FDCPA and gives further requirements to collecting agencies, such as obtaining a license and paying a fee to be able to legitimately conduct debt collection practices.
However, such practices are regulated and anything beyond ethical and professional conduct may be subject to civil liability.
Another important information that a debtor should know is the statute of limitation of the debt. If you have a credit card debt, have made promissory notes or underwent a written or orally contracted debt, the statute of limitation imposed in New Jersey for the creditor to be able to file a case against you for failure to pay is 6 years.
The counting of 6 years starts at the time you defaulted payment and not when the account was first opened. A New Jersey FDCPA attorney can easily guide you through these legal jargon and provide you clarity.
What an FDCPA Attorney in New Jersey Can Do
If a collecting agency is in violation of the federal and New Jersey FDCPA, you may ask the help of a New Jersey FDCPA attorney to commence a legal proceeding on your behalf.
Similar to the case of Diana Mey, you can record any phone conversation you may have with an arrogant and deceptive debt collector without his permission. This is because New Jersey is a one party consent state and you only need to be a party to the call to record it.
You may then use the recorded exchange and use it against the debt collector if there are any violations made. You need to seek your FDCPA attorney in New Jersey to claim for damages which includes, among others, the following:
- Monetary remedies based on actual damages;
- Damages for emotional and physical distress;
- Recovery of lost wages;
- Additional damages;
- Legal costs and attorneys’ fees.
As the case of Diana Mey indicated, the recorded phone conversation served as a very strong proof against the collecting agency. You may also end up being awarded with a huge amount in damages and be the one to collect from your collecting agency.
The FDCPA laws protect you whether you live in highly populated Jersey City, Hoboken or even in the small city of Caldwell. The entire state is covered by both the federal FDCPA and New Jersey FDCPA.
A Free Evaluation is Available Now
A Free Evaluation is available to you to help you assess your situation and whether or not you can possibly claim for damages based on the debt collectors’ bad behavior towards you. A New Jersey FDCPA attorney will be referred to you as soon as you decide you need his assistance.