The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was made into law in 1977 with the objective of protecting American consumers from inappropriate and intimidating practices of debt collectors. This is a powerful instrument consumers can use to prevent being abused due to their inability to pay their debts.
Most states enact separate local collection laws to support the federal FDCPA. Others do not have separate collection laws but fully implements the federal FDCPA.
Rhode Island FDCPA
In Rhode Island, the FDCPA provisions are contained in its 2013 Rhode Island General Laws, Section 19-14.9-5. According to a 2017 statistics, the average credit card debt of Rhode Island residents is $5,673. This is an indication that many could be the target of debt collectors in cases of default payments.
The problem is that many employ unfair tactics just to be able to coerce borrowers to pay. Under Section 19-14.9-5(1), without the borrower’s consent or that of the court’s, the debt collector could not communicate with the debtor about the debt in the following manner:
- At unusual time and place inconvenient to the debtor, which is normally before 8:00am or after 9:00pm;
- Contact the attorney and not the consumer if debtor is represented by one;
- Contact the workplace once debt collector is asked not to.
One means of pressuring consumers to pay their outstanding debt is through the filing of lawsuits. It is therefore a relief to know that debts have statutes of limitations (SOL). It simply means that beyond the SOL, the creditor or debt collector may not sue you for your debt.
This SOL differs from state to state and in Rhode Island, the SOL for consumer debts is 10 years. These consumer debts include the following:
- Credit card debts;
- Medical or funeral bills, and corresponding promissory notes;
- Student loans, auto loans, utility bills and others based on written contracts;
- Orally contracted debts.
To make sure you will not be deceived by an unscrupulous debt collector, it is recommended that you get the advice of a Rhode Island FDCPA attorney who knows how to best apply the law to your situation.
A Rhode Island FDCPA Attorney Can Help
You can file a claim for damages against a collecting agency if you believe it is in violation of the FDCPA. Since this requires legal procedures, an FDCPA attorney in Rhode Island is the person to turn to. He is more than capable of making sure you have a strong case before immersing yourself into a legal battle.
In turn, you can be a big help to your Rhode Island FDCPA attorney if you can provide him strong evidence against a debt collector.
One great way to do this is by recording your phone conversation with a persistent, unethical and annoying debt collector. You need not get his approval to do this based on the fact that Rhode Island is a one party consent state, which means only the permission of a single person involved in the call is needed to record. Whether you reside in Providence or Newport, you are covered by the protection provided by the FDCPA and Rhode Island collections laws.
You May Have a Free Evaluation Today
A lawsuit against a violating debt collector may only be filed within a year from the time the inappropriate conduct was performed. Do not waste time and find out if you can seek a claim for damages. Have a Free Evaluation today and you will learn all about collection laws and its prohibitions.
Once you are sure about filing a claim, you will be connected to a Rhode Island FDCPA attorney to assist you.