According to a CNBC report, as of May 2017, the average credit card debt for every household in America is $8,377 or a total of more than $1 trillion. While not all are subject to payment default, a sizable amount is, and we are only talking about credit card debts.
Clearly, debt collection has turned into a highly lucrative business. However, it only becomes profitable if payments are made. This is why many debt collectors will stop at nothing to be able to collect, including highly inappropriate tactics.
Fortunately for consumers, these kinds of unfair practices are prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
South Carolina FDCPA
Just as other states, South Carolina also has its own statutes that support the FDCPA in protecting debtors. Two of the significant consumer collection statutes in the state, which reflects many similar provisions as the federal FDCPA, are the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA) and the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code (SCCPC).
Under the UTPA, particularly Section 39-5-10, deceptive and unfair practices are not permitted. These refer to acts that affect the interest of the public and are “capable of repetition.” On the other hand, Section 37-1-302 of the SCCPC fully implements the FDCPA thus imposing the provisions of the federal law in the state.
Each state imposes its own statute of limitation (SOL) on debts. In South Carolina, the following statutes of limitations are applied to the corresponding type of consumer debt:
- Promissory notes – 3 years
- Credit card debts – 3 years
- Breach of contract(written or oral) related to debts – 3 years
- Foreign or domestic judgments – 10 years
Beyond these limitations, a creditor or debt collector may no longer sue you for your debt. To do so is a violation of the FDCPA and South Carolina’s consumer laws. However, a simple written acknowledgement of the debt or a partial payment will add another 3 years to the SOL.
Many debt collectors who merely bought the debt from original creditors commonly lack complete information about it. As such, many file lawsuits even if the debt has reached its SOL. Most are relying on default judgment while others believe that the debtor will be pressured to pay.
This is where the role of an FDCPA attorney in South Carolina becomes essential. Your attorney can easily defend you against these ruthless collectors and even file a claim against them on your behalf.
Get Help from an FDCPA Attorney in South Carolina
Given the existence of a federal and several state laws relating to collection practices, it is but normal for a common consumer to get confused as to what provision of law will best apply to his situation that will get him the utmost relief. The help of an FDCPA attorney in South Carolina is vital at times like this.
For instance, debt collectors who sue borrowers for reasons including the following may be liable legally under the FDCPA and South Carolina collection laws:
- Wrong county
- Wrong amount
- Lack of required notice
- Past the statute of limitation
Your South Carolina FDCPA attorney will be able to help you claim for damages, regardless if you live in Charleston or Sullivan’s Island. The laws are applied state wide and should you win your case, the following remedies may be awarded to you:
- Treble damages under the UTPA;
- Statutory damages;
- Recovery of lost or garnished wages;
- Attorneys’ fees and legal costs.
The law allots only one year to file a claim against a violating debt collector from the time the act was committed. This is why it is important to immediately act with the help of a South Carolina FDCPA attorney.
Get a Free Evaluation Today
Get a Free Evaluation today to help you understand the collection laws and how it applies to your situation. As soon as you decide that you have a strong case against a debt collector who is in violation of the FDCPA, a South Carolina FDCPA attorney will be referred to you upon request.