It started with a letter using pleasant language to inform you that a debt collection agency initiated action to collect an outstanding consumer debt. You ignore the letter and a few days letter, the pleasant tone of the first letter is replaced by the angry voice of a representative from the same company calling you at home. If you lived in the United States prior to September 20, 1977, you had no legal option for making the harassing phone calls stop. Today, we have the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to act as the legal shield to stop overly aggressive debt collection tactics.
Considered by many legal scholars to be the most influential federal consumer protection law, the FDCPA prohibits bill collectors from threatening to seize private property. The groundbreaking federal consumer protection law makes it illegal for a debt collection agency to call you frequently throughout the day, as well as harass you well into the night by making phone calls to the home landline. The FDCPA also requires third party debt collectors to send debt validation letters to consumers.
What You Should See in a Debt Validation Letter
There are two important pieces of information a bill collector like Rushmore Service Center, LLC must include in a debt validation letter. First, you should be able to see the total amount of money owed on the debt in question. Second, the debt collection agency should present the name and contact information for the original creditor.
A copy of the last monthly statement sent by the original creditor should include the name and contact information for the company. Deceptive third party debt collectors omit the name of the original creditor and/or present an amount of money owed that is way higher than it should be.
A debt validation letter that follows the guidelines established by the FDCPA should include a sentence that states you have the right to request more information within 30 days of receiving the debt validation letter. The bill collector that sends you a debt validation letter should break down the total amount owed by principle, late fees, and interest charges. This gives you the chance to determine whether the company has added exorbitant charges. You also want to know if the original creditor waived certain fees that the bill collector has reinstated.
How to Win Monetary Damages
The FDCPA does much more than outlaw certain debt collection practices. It also grants consumers the right to file claims seeking monetary damages. The punitive provision of the FDCPA allows you to seek both statutory damages and actual damages. Actual damages can include the wages lost because of the illegal action taken by a debt collection agency. Since deceptive and overly aggressive debt collection techniques can trigger physical and/or emotional distress symptoms, you have the right to seek monetary damages that cover the costs associated with diagnosing and treating the symptoms.
Hire a Licensed FDCPA Lawyer
Working with an experienced FDCPA attorney will ensure you present the strongest case in front of a civil court judge. Your FDCPA lawyer will collect convincing evidence that includes medical documentation and the sworn depositions delivered by medical experts. Schedule a free initial consultation today with an accomplished 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 Rushmore Service Center, LLC, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.