The American Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1977 to protect consumers from the abusive techniques of debt collectors. Many debtors are familiar with the prohibitions of this Act.
However, there are other little-known practices used by collecting agencies that are also illegal under the FDCPA but remain unfamiliar to consumers.
One of those is the empty threat of a lawsuit. Many other illegal tactics are employed by debt collectors, and the best person to defend your rights would be an FDCPA attorney in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s Debt Collection Laws
Many states have collection laws that are similar to the FDCPA, and Wisconsin is one of them. Wisconsin Statutes Annotated, Section 218.04 covers issues relating to collection practices.
While the FDCPA covers only debt collectors, Wisconsin’s law, particularly as provided under Sections 427.101 to 427.105, covers the original creditors and includes agricultural transactions beyond the typical consumer debts.
Just as with the FDCPA, the Wisconsin collection laws prohibit many acts of harassment including, but not limited to, the following:
- Threats of violence and force;
- False disclosure of information;
- Unreasonable means of communication;
- Threats of criminal prosecution, etc.
It would also be helpful for debtors to know the other illegal tactics practiced by many collection agencies under the FDCPA, such as the following:
- It is illegal to send you legal letters without them first being reviewed by a lawyer;
- Collection agencies that threaten you with legal action may be in violation of the FDCPA if it can be shown that they have no legal department;
- Collectors are not allowed to give legal advice if they are not attorneys and as such, may not send you a letter that states that they will “recommend litigation;” and,
- Collectors may not sue the debtor in a jurisdiction where he does not reside or a place other than where the debt was made.
To gain a better understanding of the law and find out if your situation allows you to initiate a claim against a collection agency, the expert advice of a Wisconsin FDCPA attorney will be valuable.
What an FDCPA Attorney in Wisconsin Can Do for You
One way of forcing borrowers to pay for their debt is by initiating a lawsuit. However, it should be noted that according to the law, there is a certain period of time by which creditors or debt collectors may be able to sue a debtor. This is referred to as the statute of limitations (SOL), and the statute may vary from state to state.
In Wisconsin, the SOL for promissory notes is 10 years and for the other consumer debts, such as credit card, written and orally contracted debts, the SOL is 6 years. Beyond this period of time, you may no longer be sued; doing so would be a violation of the FDCPA.
Pursuing a claim against a debt collector may seem problematic to some debtors since it entails legal expenses and attorneys’ fees. Of course, it should be noted that if you win your case, the court will likely award you with monetary remedies, including compensation to cover attorneys’ fees.
Therefore, in the long run, you managed to stop a debt collector from pestering a debtor and you ended up paying nothing because you recovered your expenses.
As a Wisconsin resident, you are protected by the state’s collection laws as well as the federal FDCPA law. This covers all of Wisconsin’s cities, including Milwaukee, Madison, or and even Kenosha.
However, debtors only have one year from the time the violation has been conducted to file a case. This makes it necessary to act quickly and seek help from a Wisconsin FDCPA attorney.
Get a Free Evaluation Now
It is important for you to know the law so that you can invoke your rights under the FDCPA. Know the law, and gather up the appropriate materials for your case.
Then, get a free evaluation to learn how your situation relates to the law and use it to stop abusive debt collectors from hounding you. A Wisconsin FDCPA attorney can be immediately referred to you if you believe you need her help.