The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted as an effort to make the consumer debt collection process more fair and to prevent the harassment and mistreatment of debtors. This statute is precise in how third-party debt collectors’ actions and behaviors are limited.
The Act specifies how a debt must be verified by the collector and how a debtor can challenge a particular debt in an effort to ensure its validity. According to the FDCPA, a third-party debt collector is an organization or individual attempting to collect debts for another party or entity. The Act restricts how often the collector can make contact as well as the hours of the day that contact can be made. If you have been the victim of a debt collector in Georgia who violated the FDCPA, you could be eligible to pursue a civil suit to seek damages. You should consult with an FDCPA attorney to get the help you need and to stop the harassing phone calls immediately.
Georgia FDCPA Laws and How They Work
In addition to the FDCPA, residents of Georgia are protected by state laws that are designed to put an end to debt collection tactics that are overreaching and inappropriate. One such law is the Georgia Industrial Loan Act (GILA) which is specifically for loans that are $3,000 or less and for a period of less than 36 months and 15 days.
For loans of higher amounts or credit accounts that are other than cash loans, the FDCPA comes into play. The GILA requires a license to make loans of $3,000 or less, the amounts of fees, interest charges, and late charges that the consumer might incur are also limited by the law. In addition, the debtor is entitled to an itemized statement that shows the amount of the loan, the number of payments, the payment schedule, the security for the loan, the fees and interest, and the actual amount of cash given to the borrower.
Differences in General FDCPA and Georgia FDCPA Laws
While the GILA only applies to cash loans of $3,000 or less and with payback schedules of 36 months, 15 days or less, the FDCPA comes into play for those loans and any other consumer debts in the state. While the FDCPA prohibits deceptive and unfair practices for loans, the GILA is very precise in describing what the state views as inappropriate tactics.
According to the GILA, the debt collector cannot threaten or use violence while attempting to collect the debt, cannot harass or embarrass the debtor, cannot disclose information about the consumer’s indebtedness to others, cannot publish a list of “deadbeat” consumers, engage in any unfair collection practices such as a asking the consumer to confirm it as consumer debt when it wasn’t originally for consumer purposes or trying to have the debt affirmed it bankruptcy when the debtor isn’t legally obligated to do so.
Consult with an FDCPA Attorney
If you have been treated unfairly by a debt collector, you should consult with a Georgia FDCPA attorney. The GILA allows you to sue the collection agency, debt collector, or creditor that intentionally violates the GILA. If you win your lawsuit, you will get twice the amount of the loan fees and interest, but no less than $100. If the collector violated FDCPA regulations, you might be able to sue for up to $1,000, or more in actual damages.