In response to growing consumer anger in regard to the rude and overly aggressive debt collection tactics used by debt collection agencies, the United States passed the milestone of consumer protection laws called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Often referred to as the ultimate consumer Bill of Rights, the FDCPA makes it illegal for third party debt collectors to threaten consumers in any way. A representative from a company like Second Look, Inc. cannot threaten to take away private property, nor is the company allowed to issue physical threats of any kind.
The FDCPA also bars the long standing debt collection practice of lying to consumers about outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts. One way the FDCPA reduces the likelihood that a bill collector will lie to you about an alleged debt is the groundbreaking federal consumer protection law requires debt collection agencies to send out debt validation letters to consumers.
Know What Needs to Be in a Debt Validation Letter
With all the focus on the FDCPA provisions that prohibit harassing and intimidating debt collection practices, not many consumers are aware that third party debt collectors are legally mandated to send out debt validation letters within five days of the first contact with consumers.
For example, when you receive the first letter from a company such as Second Look, Inc., the bill collector has five days after the postmark date on the letter to send you a follow up letter called a debt validation letter.
The first paragraph of a debt validation letter should clearly define how much is owed on the alleged debt, as well we present the name and contact information for the original creditor. The second paragraph should contain useful information that includes the date of the last contact between you and the original creditor.
Every state bases its statute of limitations for debt collection efforts on the last day of contact between original creditors and consumers. A debt collection agency that comes after you hard might be coming after a debt that is longer valid because the statute of limitations has expired.
Do You qualify for Monetary Damages?
Having to deal with a deceptive debt collection agency that lies about the validity of a consumer debt can have an adverse effect on your emotional health. The embarrassment of having your financial predicament out n the open can lead to missed time at work and much less interaction with friends and family members.
Fortunately, the FDCPA allows consumers to seek monetary damages from companies that violate one or more provisions of the FDCPA.
Work with a Licensed Consumer Protection Attorney
For emotional distress symptoms, your FDCPA lawyer will consult with the physicians that diagnosed and treated you. Then, he or she will gather both physical and anecdotal evidence that bolsters your FDCPA case in front of a civil court judge.
Your lawyer should also make sure the debt collection agency complied with the FDCPA provision that requires third party debt collectors to send consumers a debt validation letter within five days after the initial contact.
Schedule a free initial consultation today with a highly rated FDCPA attorney to determine the best course of legal action.
*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 Second Look, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.