The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted to establish laws that enable legal agencies to oversee consumer debt collection practices and ensure the fair treatment of debtors. The FDCPA provides directions that are very detailed regarding the verification of debts by collection agencies and explains how consumers can dispute the validity of debts that debt collectors are trying to collect.
The Act specifies collectors cannot call to collect debts between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. while limiting the frequency of contact with the debtor. If you are a Virginia resident who has been the victim of a debt collector who does not adhere to the FDCPA, you could be eligible to file a civil suit for $1,000 in damages. You should consult with an FDCPA attorney in Virginia so you can stop the calls from the debt collectors!
Virginia FDCPA Laws and How They Work
While Virginians are protected by the FDCPA, they are also protected by state laws. Virginia has a criminal statute that prohibits debt collectors from trying to collect debts by simulating documents that look official or legal in nature. Under the code, any debt collector that sends a document to a debtor that looks like a court order, judgment, lien, or warrant can be fined as much as $250.
The debtor can report this infraction but cannot sue the debt collector directly for breaking the criminal statute. When it comes to state enacted laws regarding the collection of debts in the state of Virginia, that law is the only one that exists. The consumers must rely on the FDCPA for additional protection.
Differences in FDCPA and Virginia FDCPA Laws
The main difference is how Virginia has enacted a criminal statute regarding the collection of debts with documents that appear to have been issued by the court system. Collecting debts in this manner is specifically prohibited in the state, while the FDCPA just prohibits using a manner that is manipulative or deceptive in nature.
Therefore, when this comes into play, the Virginia law is much more detailed and specific in explaining what is illegal. However, the FDCPA is still enforced in the state and those regulations are there to protect consumers as well. The state itself does not have a statute that protects consumers from the manipulative and abusive practices of debt collectors and relies on the FDCPA to do that. So, the actual differences are minimal and focus on the stand-alone criminal statute.
Consult with a Virginia FDCPA Attorney
If you have been mistreated by a debt collector in Virginia, you should consult with an FDCPA attorney. A Virginia FDCPA attorney can still file legal action against the debt collector based on the federal act and request up to $1,000 in damages. The Virginia FDCPA attorney can make sure your rights are protected and make the debt collector stop harassing you. When you enlist the help of an attorney, the debt collector can no longer contact you directly and must stop calling you.