For decades leading up to 1977, many debt collection agencies resorted to deceitful debt collection tactics to trick consumers into paying off outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts.
In response to growing consumer discontent, the United States Congress passed the historic Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The monumental federal consumer protection law outlaws dozens of previously acceptable debt collection practices.
Under the FDCPA, a third party debt collector such as Regional Finance cannot threaten you in any way. A bill collector is not allowed to threaten you with a lawsuit, nor can it threaten to seize your property to liquidate it into cash.
The FDCPA also requires bill collectors to send consumers a debt validation letter that clearly proves the legal obligation a consumer has to take care of a delinquent personal debt.
What a Debt Validation Should Tell You
The United States Congress did not just write a provision that forces debt collection agencies to send debt validation letters. According to a provision written into the FDCPA, a third party debt collector has five days after first contacting you to send a debt validation letter.
If you have not received a debt validation letter within 10 days of initially hearing from a bill collector, you should send the company a reminder notice about its legal responsibility to furnish proof that you owe money on a consumer debt.
A debt validation letter should include several pieces of information that helps you decide whether you are on the legal hook for an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance. You should learn how much is owed on a consumer debt, as well as find the name and contact information for the original creditor.
Debt collection agencies either purchase delinquent debts for a fraction of what was originally owed, or they receive a commission for tracking down consumers that have fallen behind on their monthly bills. Knowing the name and contact information for the original creditor represents the most convincing piece of information put into a debt validation letter.
Filing a Claim for Monetary Damages
Without penalties handed out for FDCPA violations, most third party debt collectors would ignore the provisions written into the landmark federal consumer protection. As the most impactful penalty, a monetary award for an FDCPA case comes in two forms.
First, you have the right to sue for statutory damages, which is a one-time penalty that cannot exceed $1,000. Statutory damages cover every violation of the FDCPA committed by the same bill collector.
You also have the right to seek actual damages to cover the costs associated with suffering from physical and/or emotional duress symptoms. Physical distress symptoms can include skin rashes and/or a rapid increase in your blood pressure.
You will need to submit evidence of your physical distress symptoms, which you can acquire by working with a state licensed FDCPA lawyer.
Consult with an Experienced Consumer Protection Attorney
A seasoned FDCPA lawyer will know exactly how to collect the evidence you need to convince a judge to award you just compensation for suffering from physical duress symptoms. Your attorney will interview medical experts, as well as present documentation that verifies the diagnosis of your condition. Schedule a free initial consultation today with a highly rated 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 Regional Finance, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.