Before September 20, 1977, many debt collection agencies implemented overly aggressive debt collection tactics to coerce consumers into paying off credit card and personal loan accounts. In response to growing consumer anger, the United States Congress passed the most influential consumer protection law.
Referred to by many legal scholars as the ultimate consumer Bill of Rights, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlaws an extensive list of long standing harassing and intimidating debt collection practices.
The FDCPA also forbids third party debt collectors from using deception to trick consumers into taking care of delinquent debts. To prevent a bill collector from using deception to trick you into taking action, you should invoke one of the rights written into the FDCPA by demanding the company send you a debt validation letter.
What is a Debt Validation Letter?
According to the FDCPA, a debt collection agency like Ad Astra Recovery Services, Inc. is required to send you a debt validation letter within five days of first contacting you. If the company fails to comply with the deadline established by the FDCPA, you should request the third party debt collector send you a debt validation letter in accordance to FDCPA guidelines.
Failure you to send you a debt validation within five days of first contact might also make you eligible to file a civil claim that seeks monetary damages.
What to Include in a Debt Validation Letter?
It is important that a debt validation letter contain specific information to ensure you are legally off the hook for paying a delinquent credit card or personal loan balance. The most important piece of information is the amount due on the alleged debt.
By learning what a bill collector claims you owe, you can go back over your personal financial information to determine if the amount due is correct. You should learn the name of the original creditor that is seeking payment on the alleged debt. An unethical bill collector might try to collect on a debt you have already paid to the original creditor.
Seeking Monetary Damages for FDCPA Violations
Tucked within the FDCPA is a provision that allows consumer to file lawsuits against third party debt collectors. You also have the right to seek monetary damages for one or more FDCPA violations. Because the illegal tactics used by a bill collector can trigger considerable stress and anxiety, the FDCPA grants you the power to seek actual damages, which the landmark federal consumer protection law does not limit. Physical distress symptoms, such as skin rashes and prolonged ulcers, can have a long lasting negative impact on your life.
Speak with an FDCPA Lawyer
If a debt collection agency refuses to send you a debt validation letter, yet the company continues to harass and intimidate you, the most effective way to fight back is to contact an experienced FDCPA attorney.
By hiring a lawyer who specializes in litigating FDCPA cases, you will present the documentation required to establish a compelling case that might earn you just compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a third party debt collector.
Schedule a free initial consultation today with an FDCPA attorney.
*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 Ad Astra Recovery Systems, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.