Consumers should learn about the power that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) have against unscrupulous debt collectors to enable them to use it for their protection.
Such power was evident in Biber v. Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc., a recent case before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where the court ruled, among others, that a collecting agency may not make “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.”
This was clearly provided in the FDCPA statute, 15 U.S.C. § 1692e. This is just one of the protections granted by the federal FDCPA to consumers.
FDCPA in Virginia
Though there is no separate local law in Virginia that supports the FDCPA, it nevertheless implements this statute within the entire state to its fullest extent. The other prohibitions of the FDCPA closely adhered to by the Virginia courts include the following:
- Daily calls till payment of debt is fully paid;
- Threaten to garnish wages, when actually not intended or is unlawful;
- Sell time-barred debts to another company to continue collection;
- If applicable, to contact Homeland Security if you have alien status;
- Contact unauthorized third persons about the debt;
- Threaten criminal sanctions like imprisonment, etc.
Failure of a debt collector to abide by these rules makes him legally liable and affords you a chance to claim for damages. The collecting agency could end up being the one who owes you money if you will win your case and be awarded by the courts with various monetary remedies.
Debt Statutes of Limitations – Virginia
A collecting agency is unable to threaten you with a lawsuit for your debt and make good on his threat forever. This is because consumer debts have statutes of limitations which differ among states.
In Virginia, a 6-year statute of limitation is imposed on almost all debts, which include open-ended accounts like credit card debts, written and orally contracted debts. For promissory notes, the period of time is a year shorter.
These statutes of limitations may change from time to time depending on new court decisions. It is best to get the assistance of an FDCPA attorney in Virginia to help you determine your debt’s statute of limitation. While this does not eliminate your debt, the limitation will give you some ease from the fear of being sued anytime.
Get Assistance from a Virginia FDCPA Attorney
In the Biber v. Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc. case, Pioneer is attempting to collect a student loan and as the plaintiff claimed, Pioneer falsely represented that it will undertake an Administrative Wage Garnishment without prior provision of notices about the debt as required by the FDCPA.
The court agreed with the plaintiff on this issue “for the simple reason that the letter does not purport to be legal process.” As such, the debt collector was in violation of the law.
You too may bring these issues before the court if you feel that a collecting agency violates the FDCPA. All residents of Virginia, whether you live in Virginia Beach, Richmond or even in Quantico, are protected by this federal law. Since this requires legal proceedings, the help of a Virginia FDCPA attorney is necessary.
Get Free Evaluation Now
A Free Evaluation can be provided to you to inform you about the law and how it applies to your situation. If a claim is necessary, a Virginia FDCPA attorney can immediately be connected to you to help you get the remedies you deserve.