You walk into your home one evening and notice the light blinking on the home landline. After listening to the messages, you wished you had never approached the phone. Most of the messages left on voicemail were from an obviously unhappy representative from a debt collection agency.
The messages contain foul language, as well as an angry tone of voice typically reserved for your worst enemy. Not knowing where to turn, you erase the messages and hope that is the end of the harassment.
For decades, American consumers lived in fear of third party debt collectors. On September 20, 1977, that all changed, as the United States Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
According to the FDCPA, it is unlawful for a bill collector like SIMM Associates, Inc. to harass you over the phone. You do not have to take abusive language, as well as repeated phone calls made to your work and home phone numbers.
The FDCPA clearly bans all debt collection agency phone calls to consumers between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am.
SIMM Associates, Inc. is Prohibited from Threatening Legal Action
Before the FDCPA, many third party debt collectors liked to use threats to coerce consumers into paying off delinquent credit card and personal loan accounts. One of the primary goals of the United States Congress was to end the intimidating debt collection practice of issuing threats.
According to the FDCPA, a bill collector is forbidden from threatening to seize your property to raise enough cash to settle an outstanding consumer debt. SIMM Associates, Inc. is also banned from threatening you physical harm.
In fact, any threats of physical harm might be considered a violation of criminal law. The FDCPA clearly prohibits third party debt collectors from threatening legal action. If you received threats from a bill collector to take legal action, you should contact a licensed FDCPA lawyer to schedule a consultation.
How to End Threats of Legal Action
Threatening legal action over the phone is much more difficult to prove than presenting a letter in court stating clearly the consequences of not paying off a debt. However, your consumer protection attorney will ask you if there is a tape recording of the threatening phone calls.
Many states have passed what is referred to as one party consent laws. One party consent means only one person involved in a phone conversation is needed to gain approval for tape recording the phone conversation.
This means that if you live in a one party consent state, you are all that is legally needed for consent to tape record the phone calls made by SIMM Associates, Inc. Physical evidence is a crucial component for you to win monetary damages.
You can receive just compensation for suffering from physical and/or emotional distress. Your FDCPA attorney will have to convince the judge presiding over case that the illegal actions committed by SIMM Associates, Inc. are directly related to your physical and/or emotional duress.
Schedule a free initial consultation with a consumer protection lawyer today to learn more about how the FDCPA protects you against the threats to take legal action.
*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 SIMM Associates, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.