Different law enforcement agencies can oversee the collection of debts and consumer debt collection agencies thanks to the Federal Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA was enacted to protect consumers from unscrupulous debt collectors who might misrepresent themselves, threaten physical harm, or misrepresent the amount of a debt that is owed.
he FDCPA protects consumers throughout the United States, so those in Vermont have the full protection offered by the Act plus they are protected by any state collection laws as well.
Vermont FDCPA Laws and How They Work
The FDCPA laws apply in Vermont, but the state legislature has also enacted the Vermont Fair Debt Collection Practices Act which provides additional protection. The state law closely tracks the federal regulations and also parallels the existing laws.
Very similar to the FDCPA, the state laws prevent disclosure of debts to third parties, prevents harassment, prohibits threats of violence or usage of profanity, and does not permit any tactics that are deceptive or misleading.
Phone calls to collect debts are only permitted between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Calling outside those hours are a violation of the FDCPA and can warrant civil action. Harassing the debtor is also prohibited, and this might result from repetitive contact and from making threats. The debt collector is also prohibited from telling third parties about the debts that are owed.
Differences in FDCPA and the Vermont Fair Debt Collection Statute
While the FDCPA offers consumers the opportunity to seek up to $1,000 in damages from debt collectors who violate the established laws, the state statute allows victims of unscrupulous debt collectors to bring a lawsuit under state law and get their actual damages, punitive damages equal to three times the actual damages, plus the attorney’s costs and fees.
The laws indicate that a debt collector cannot threaten legal action that is not permissible by state laws or threaten to physically harm the debtor. The debt collector cannot claim to be a law enforcement officer or an attorney or use documents that look like they are legal paperwork or court-ordered.
Proper evidence of the debt must be provided and the debt verification guidelines that have been established must be followed. If the debtor believes that he or she doesn’t owe a debt or that the amount of the debt is incorrect, he or she can dispute the debt’s validity.
Contact a Vermont FDCPA Attorney
If you have been the victim of an unscrupulous debt collector who has violated the FDCPA or the Vermont Fair Debt Collection Statute, you should retain a Vermont FDCPA attorney. An attorney can ensure your rights are protected and file a lawsuit to seek compensation if any FDCPA or Vermont Fair Debt Collection Statute laws were violated.
After you retain a Vermont FDCPA attorney, the harassing phone calls from the debt collectors will stop. Call a Vermont FDCPA lawyer to set up your initial consultation today so you can put an end to the problems.