For decades leading up to 1977, debt collection agencies got away with harassing and intimidating consumers. It was not uncommon for third party debt collectors to threaten consumers with legal action, as well as call consumers repeatedly throughout the day.
In response to growing discontent from constituents, the United States Congress passed the most influential consumer protection law. Considered the ultimate consumer Bill of Rights, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlaws dozens of previously legal debt collection tactics.
A company such as H&R Accounts, Inc. cannot threaten you in any way, nor can the bill collector harass you by calling you at home deep into the night. The FDCPA also requires to debt collection agencies to prove the validity of every debt pursued by the companies.
What Does Debt Validation Mean?
Third party debt collectors bank on consumers not knowing their rights, as defined by the FDCPA. You should know that a bill collector has five days after first contacting you to send what is referred to as a debt validation letter. The five-day period starts on the date postmarked on a letter, as well as the day time stamped on a home landline message.
A debt validation letter should provide you with details of an alleged debt. You should be able to discover how much you allegedly owe, as well as the name and contact information for the original creditor.
Knowing the name of the original creditor goes a long way towards establishing the validity of an alleged consumer debt. Original creditors like Best Buy and Wells Fargo Bank try to collect outstanding consumer debts, but after a designated amount of time has passed, original creditors typically hand over debt collection efforts to a third party such as H&R Accounts, Inc.
Original creditors either pay a commission to a bill collector or sell delinquent consumer debts outright for just of fraction of what a consumer owes on a credit card or a personal loan account.
Making a Debt Collection agency Pay for Violating the FDCPA
The FDCPA also contains a large provision that details how consumers can seek just compensation for one or more violations of the FDCPA. You have two ways to recover money lost because of FDCPA violations: Statutory and actual damages.
Statutory damages cover all the violations of the FDCPA committed by the same third party debt collector. Capped at $1,000, a judge awards statutory damages as punishment for breaking the federal consumer protection law. Actual damages cover the money lost because of the illegal acts committed by a bill collector.
The FDCPA does not place any financial restrictions on the money awarded for actual damages.
Speak with a Licensed FDCPA Attorney
Presenting a case in front of a civil court judge requires the legal expertise of a state licensed FDCPA lawyer. An FDCPA attorney will ensure you present the most convincing evidence that links the illegal debt collection tactics used by a bill collector to any physical and/or emotional pain that you suffered.
Your lawyer will also possess the skills to negotiate a settlement in your favor. Schedule a free initial consultation today with an experienced consumer protection attorney who specializes in handling FDCPA cases.