Designed to protect consumers who owe debts, the Federal Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) establishes specific guidelines that must be followed during debt collection. The laws are very specific, clarifying how a debt collector must verify a debt and also explaining how a debtor can dispute the validity of a debt.
The FDCPA also establishes guidelines that state that the debt collection agency cannot claim to be law enforcement officers or attorneys when they are not and they cannot threaten legal action that is not permitted and that they do not plan to take.
West Virginia FDCPA Laws and How They Work
The FDCPA applies all throughout the United States, including Vermont. States can also enact their own debt collection laws which offer additional protection. West Virginia enacted the West Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which is also called the Collection Agency Act of 1973. The state law indicates that a collection agency includes all people, corporations, associations, or firm that are involved in collecting or soliciting any account from consumers.
The state laws require that the collection agency is licensed by the state and have the proper bond. It also supports the FDCPA, which indicates that debt collectors cannot call between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. and cannot make too many contacts or it will constitute harassment.
Differences in FDCPA and the West Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
While the FDCPA and the Collection Agency Act have similarities, there are differences as well. In addition to the state laws requiring the agency to be licensed and bonded within West Virginia, the state laws require the collection agency to keep detailed records of all collections that came in and disbursements that went out by the agency. To make sure the monies of collection agency customers be co-mingled with other money. The laws also require that the agency not falsely represents itself as an attorney or having legal authority by using documents that look like legal papers.
According to the West Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the debt collector cannot accuse or threaten any debtor with fraud, any crime, or other misconduct. The agency cannot make false accusations to another person or a credit reporting agency regarding the debt in question. The agency cannot threaten to sell or assign the obligation of the debt to another party if doing so would cause the consumer to lose any of his or her defense in regards to the claim.
Contact a West Virginia FDCPA Attorney
If you have been the victim of unscrupulous debt collection practices, you should consult with a West Virginia FDCPA attorney. An attorney can protect your rights and ensure you are protected from the debt collectors. If a debt collection agency has broken the FDCPA and state laws, you can file a civil suit and receive as much as $1,000 in damages.
When you hire a West Virginia FDCPA attorney, you can rest assured that the harassing phone calls to collect debts will be stopped. Schedule a consultation with a West Virginia FDCPA attorney today.