The phone calls never stop.
An overly aggressive debt collection agency calls you several times throughout the day, including well after the company is legally allowed to contact consumers. Moreover, the phone calls include threats to seize your property and threats to contact a third party regarding your debt. Slowly slipping into panic mode, you have no idea where you can turn to stop the harassment and intimidation. Fortunately, a historic federal consumer protection law forbids third party debt collectors from harassing and intimidating consumers.
Enacted by the United States Congress in response to intense constituent anger, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes it illegal for a bill collector to threaten you in any way. The monumental federal consumer protection law also limits when a debt collection agency can call you, which is between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am. Congressional leaders included a provision within the FDCPA that mandates debt collection agencies to send consumers a debt validation letter.
What You Should See in a Debt Validation Letter
FDCPA provisions address several previously legal overly aggressive debt collection tactics. The federal consumer protection law also outlaws the use of deception to trick consumers into taking actions they would not otherwise take. A debt validation letter should verify whether you are indeed legally responsible for paying off an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance. You should see the total amount of the alleged debt, which you compare to the personal financial records you kept. Make sure to see a detailed breakdown of the balance due on the debt that includes the principal, late fees, and interest charges.
Next, you should see the name and contact information for the original creditor. Some third party debt collectors make up debts to trick consumers into sending them money. An original creditor such as Mastercard or Bank of America either pays a company to collect debts or the original creditor sells a consumer debt for a fraction of what was originally owed. Acquiring the name and phone number of the original creditor allows you to contact the company to determine if the original creditor has any records of doing business with you. A bill collector like Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc. has five days after making first contact with you to send a debt validation letter.
Requesting Just Compensation for FDCPA Violations
The FDCPA is much more than along list of banned debt collection practices. It also contains a provision that gives consumers the power to sue debt collection agencies for monetary damages. The deceptive debt collection tactics implemented by a third party debt collector might have causes you to lose time at work. According to the FDCPA, you have the right to file claim in a civil court to recover lost wages. The judge presiding over your case might provide injunctive relief, which represents a legal action that prohibits a bill collector from continuing to pursue the collection of a delinquent credit card or personal loan balance.
Never let a debt collection agency try to collect a debt that you do not have to pay. Schedule a free initial consultation today with a state licensed FDCPA lawyer.
*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 Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.