It starts with a letter from a debt collection agency like Municipal Services Bureau that threatens you with legal action for not paying off an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance. After another letter arrives with the same threat, you believe ignoring the threatening written correspondence will make the problem go away.
You thought wrong.
Third party debt collectors have a lot of money at stake when going after consumers that amassed debts. Because of the incredible profits earned, many bill collectors ignore an important consumer protection law that many legal scholars have referred to as the consumer bill of rights. Enacted in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes it illegal for debt collection agencies to use debt collection practices that were previously allowed by law. The FDCPA also grants consumers the right to file claims in civil courts to seek monetary damages from third party debt collectors for one or more violations of the FDCPA.
Municipal Services Bureau Cannot Threaten You
Of all the provisions written into the FDCPA, perhaps the most important are the provisions that ban the issuance of threats by bill collectors. One provision uses general language concerning the issuance of threats. Court cases since the passage of the FDCPA have established precedents for outlawing a wide variety of threats. A debt collection agency like Municipal Services Bureau cannot threaten to seize private property or threaten to garnish your wages to cover an outstanding credit card or personal loan account. Third party debt collectors also must refrain from making physical threats, which can lead to additional criminal charges. The second FDCPA provision covering threats involves banning the issuance of threats to take legal action. If Municipal Services Bureau threatens you with legal action, act with a sense of urgency by contacting a licensed FDCPA lawyer.
Take Action against Threats of Legal Action
If you receive threatening letters and/or phone calls concerning legal action taken on a delinquent debt, you can rest assured the threats will continue unless you speak with an experienced consumer protection attorney that has litigated dozens of FDCPA cases. Your FDCPA attorney might invoke the statute of limitations established by your state for the collection of outstanding consumer debts. The statute of limitations typically begins on the day of the last action performed on the account. Your FDCPA attorney might consider presenting a debt settlement proposal to Municipal Services Bureau that requests a deal allowing you to pay off the debt in question for a fraction of what you owe on the account. In addition to providing legal advice, your consumer protection lawyer will ensure to file all of the legal documentation required by the civil court where your case is being heard in a timely manner.
Schedule a free initial consultation with a FDCPA attorney to learn more about how to handle the threats to take legal action made by a bill collector such as Municipal Services Bureau.
Here are some additional resources that you might find helpful with your FDCPA case:
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Municipal Services Bureau or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.