First Collection Bureau, Inc. or a similar agency’s collection methods have probably changed your life in small, nearly imperceptible ways. Perhaps now you avoid picking up their threatening phone calls.
Maybe you leave the room when the answering machine comes on so that you don’t have to listen to another profane voicemail. Engaging in this type of behavior isn’t normal for third-party agencies, and you don’t deserve to be harassed. Fortunately, you have an important tool that can help you fight back.
Know Your Rights
That tool is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a law that was enacted in 1977 to protect consumers from unscrupulous third-party collectors. Under the FDCPA, third-party collectors can’t do the following:
- Attempt to collect on an old debt
- Use profane language in correspondence
- Make your phone ring repeatedly
- Leave multiple voicemails
This list isn’t exhaustive, so even if the behavior you’ve been experiencing doesn’t fall neatly into one of these examples, don’t fret. Your best bet is to contact an attorney, because he or she will know the law well enough to advise on what your next steps should be.
Going to Court with First Collection Bureau, Inc.
If the attorney decides that the next steps should be filing a claim, your attorney will file a claim against First Collection Bureau, Inc. That claim will lead to a notice being served to First Collection Bureau, Inc.
A notice typically contains a summons and a complaint. The summons gives details about when to show up to court, and the complaint explains why the company’s presence is being requested.
Once you know when you’re supposed to appear in court, you’ll immediately start preparing for your appearance. One of those important preliminary steps you can take is securing transportation that day to be sure that you’ll get there on time.
Showing up late to court is sure to leave a bad impression that will negatively impact your case. If you get nervous as the date approaches, remind yourself that you won’t go to jail just for being unable to pay your bills.
Preparing for Your Court Appearance
The next steps in the preparation process--evidence-gathering and preparing for questions--are more involved. Together, you and your attorney will gather evidence that shows that First Collection Bureau, Inc. was harassing you.
This could come in many forms, including recordings of profane voicemails, “bad debt” lists that your name was published on, and phone calls you’ve received at work. Be transparent and helpful to your attorney during this process-- it’s the foundation on which your case is built.
Next, your attorney will prepare you for the questions that First Collection Bureau’s attorney may ask you. This may feel nerve-racking, but preparing for these questions will make them much easier to face the day-of.
It can also do a lot to combat the courtroom jitters, so take this part of the preparation process particularly seriously.
Talk to an Attorney
Those small ways in which your life has changed due to aggressive debt collection are symptoms of a bigger problem in your life-- unscrupulous debt collectors. An FDCPA attorney will be one of the best tools you have to get the harassment to end. Don’t wait to get your life back; contact an attorney today.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against First Collection Bureau, Inc., or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.