Many unscrupulous and abusive debt collectors will stop at nothing to profit from collecting debts. Some even turn to Facebook to collect.
In a Boston Globe article, it was shown that after incessantly calling Kathryn Haralson’s home, her work, her husband, her father, her brother and even her daughter from college about a late payment of her vehicle installment that she has been paying for 5 years, a debt collector who introduced himself simply as Mr. Rice even left messages in her Facebook account.
This is despite her being constantly in touch with the original creditor to discuss her debt. These practices are strictly prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In New York, the provisions of the FDCPA are even made stronger with its new regulations that provide consumers with greater protection from abuses of collecting agencies.
FDCPA in New York
In 2015, New York enacted some of the strongest regulations in the country against debt collectors with emphasis placed on inappropriate practices of debt buyers. Some of the most profound rules of the New York regulation are the need to provide debtors with more information about the debt being collected and the provision of consumer consent to utilize emails instead of phone calls.
Under the recent New York collection laws, within the first 5 days from the time the collector contacted the debtor, the general information about the rights of the consumer should be divulged including the right to dispute the debt. The debt collector must also provide data about the debt including the following:
- Amount owed at the time the creditor sent it for collection;
- The interest earned from the debt was charged-off by creditor;
- The other charges and fees; and,
- The payments made by the debtor since debt was charged-off.
On Statute of Limitation of Debts
Another fact debt collectors should disclose to debtors upon initial contact is whether or not the debt’s statute of limitation (SOL) has expired. The new New York regulations intended to combat the unfair practice of collecting “zombie debts,” which refers to debts with expired SOL and those already paid.
In New York, consumer debts such as the following have a 6 year SOL:
- Credit cards debts;
- Promissory notes;
- Debts orally contracted;
- Debts based on a written contract;
- Other consumer debts which are personal in nature.
Residents of the state, whether those living in highly populated New York City and Rochester, as well as in smaller cities of Yonkers and Ithaca, are protected by both the federal FDCPA and the new regulations on debt collection. The best person to assist you in understanding how the laws apply to your situation is a New York FDCPA attorney.
Get Assistance from a New York FDCPA Attorney
Emphasis was placed on debt buyers by the new collection regulations in New York. This is because these companies are quite notorious for having very little knowledge or no information at all about the debts they try to collect.
To make sure you are not victimized by collecting agencies that keep violating the relevant laws, it is best to acquire help from an expert FDCPA attorney in New York.
Your New York FDCPA attorney will also be able to help you dispute the debt collector’s allegations. He can require the collection agency to substantiate their claims against you through the provision of, among others, the following:
- The application of debt or contract you signed;
- Records of previous settlement;
- Statement of account from original creditor that charged-off the debt;
- Statement that transfers the debt from creditor to debt collector; and,
- Copy of judgment, if any.
With the strength of the new regulations in New York and the protection under the FDCPA, debt collectors have no recourse but to act professionally when collecting debts. Otherwise, you may file a civil lawsuit for damages with the help of your New York FDCPA attorney.
What to Get from a Free Evaluation
If you take a Free Evaluation now, you will be informed about your rights under the FDCPA and you can connect to a New York FDCPA attorney to assist you in filing a claim against a debt collector who goes beyond what is legal.