Before September 20, 1977, American consumers were at the mercy of aggressive debt collection agencies that harassed and intimidated consumers into paying off delinquent credit card and personal loan accounts.
In response to the growing outcry against aggressive debt collection practices, the United States Congress enacted the ultimate consumer bill of rights. Called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the historic consumer protection law outlaws dozens of previously acceptable debt collection tactics.
The FDCPA bans the long time practice of third party debt collectors calling consumers at odd hours of the day. You should know that a bill collector such as Scott & Associates is prohibited from calling you between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am.
Bill collectors are also not permitted to make repeated phone calls in attempts to coerce consumers into paying off outstanding debts. You do not have to take abusive language or accept the illegal technique of a debt collection agency deceiving you into paying off a credit card or a personal loan balance.
Scott & Associates Cannot Threaten Legal Action
According to the FDCPA, a third party debt collector cannot threaten you in any way. The FDCPA contains two provisions that address the illegality of issuing threats. A general legal provision makes it illegal for a bill collector to threaten physical harm, as well as threaten to seize private property to liquidate the assets for cash.
Another FDCPA provision clearly forbids the practice of a third party debt collector threatening legal action. The threat can be direct and it can come in a much more indirect manner.
For example, a bill collector like Scott & Associates cannot write or say “You have 10 days to respond to our company’s request for you to take care of this debt.” A growing number of consumers have filed claims against bill collectors that have implied the threat of legal action.
How a FDCPA Lawyer Can Help
If a third party debt collector threatens legal action, the first step for you to respond involves speaking with a licensed consumer protection attorney who has litigated FDCPA cases. Your lawyer will carefully review your case to determine if Scott & Associates violated one or more provisions of the FDCPA.
The threat to take legal action is a FDCPA violation and if you have enough evidence to prove threats were made, your FDCPA attorney might opt to file a claim against the bill collector. Filing a claim requires your FDCPA lawyer to compile plenty of evidence.
Your assistance in compiling evidence is needed, such as handing over letters and emails that include clearly written threats to take legal action. Your claim can seek monetary damages for FDCPA violations, as well as the pain and suffering caused by the actions of a third party debt collector.
Physical duress can include breaking out in skin rashes, enduring a prolonged bout with an ulcer, and/or suffering from debilitating migraine headaches. Emotional distress is a much harder set of symptoms to prove, which makes it even more important to consult with a consumer protection lawyer.
*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 Scott & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.