Falling behind on bills causes considerable stress and anxiety. To make matters worse, a debt collection agency such as Atlantic Credit & Finance may have started calling you at home and at work. The phone calls may have gotten more aggressive over the past couple of weeks, and now you wonder if it is the right time to take drastic measures by filing for bankruptcy. Fortunately, a federal consumer protection law passed by the United States Congress in 1977 protects you against overly aggressive debt collection tactics.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a third party debt collector like Atlantic Credit & Finance is prohibited from implementing overly aggressive debt collection practices. This includes using abusive language during phone conversations and threatening to seize your property to liquidate it into cash. Bill collectors are also not allowed to issue threats to contact the IRS or family members in regards to an outstanding credit card or personal loan account. There is also another type of threat the FDCPA clearly labels illegal.
Atlantic Credit & Finance Cannot Threaten Legal Action
As the trump card up the sleeves of many debt collection agencies, threatening to take legal action to collect delinquent debts motivates many consumers to cave in and pay what they can afford. According to the FDCPA, a third party debt collector is not allowed to threaten you with legal action.
The threat can be implied, such as “Please take care of this debt immediately. You have 30 days to respond to this letter.” However, most threats to take legal action are more like this: “If you do not address this issue now, we will file a lawsuit against you in civil court.” If you received a threat of legal action from Atlantic Credit & Finance, you should respond by contacting a licensed consumer protection lawyer who specializes representing clients in FDCPA cases.
Do You Have Enough Evidence to File a Lawsuit?
Your FDCPA lawyer will carefully review your case to determine if there is enough evidence of issuing threats to warrant the filing of a claim in civil court. Evidence of threats include original letters, as well as copies of letters clearly displaying the issuing of threat to take legal action.
Your FDCPA attorney may recommend you tape record phone the phone conversations you have with a representative from Atlantic Credit & Finance. If you live in a one party consent state, you can record any phone conversation you have with the bill collector because only one party in a phone conversation is required to give consent to tape record the phone call. The judge presiding over your case will examine the evidence presented to decide whether there is enough evidence to issue a judgment for rewarding statutory damages.
Take the initiative whenever a debt collection agency threatens legal action. Schedule a free initial consultation with a FDCPA attorney today to fight back against violations of the landmark consumer protection law.
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*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 Atlantic Credit & Finance or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.