Despite the enactment of a powerful consumer protection law in 1977, many debt collection agencies continue to cross the legal line by harassing consumers into paying off delinquent credit card and personal loan balances. Some of the harassment is subtle, such as contacting relatives about a debt or implementing deceptive techniques to trick consumers into forking over the cash for a debt.
However, most of the tactics used by third party debt collectors that violate federal law are overly aggressive in nature.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), bill collectors like Donald R. Conrad are prohibited from harassing consumers by making abusive phone calls, as well as sending threatening emails and text messages. Phone calls are an especially effective tool for debt collection agencies, and the FDCPA specifically outlaws several types of harassing phone calls made by third party debt collectors.
Types of Unacceptable Phone Calls under the FDCPA
The element of surprise has always been a strategy used by bill collectors to catch consumers off guard. One of the best ways to catch a consumer off guard is to call the consumer when he or she expects it the least. For example, a phone call made by a bill collector in the middle of the night is an effective way to catch a consumer off guard. However, the FDCPA prohibits such phone calls, as well as frequent phone calls debt collection agencies like to make to badger consumers.
According to the FDCPA, bill collectors are forbidden from calling consumers after nine at night and before eight in the morning. If a third party debt collector calls you at 7:30 in the morning, you should seek legal counsel to determine the best course of legal action. Repeated phone calls outside of the allowed 13-hour period can be a strong reason to file a civil lawsuit that seeks the awarding of monetary damages.
What You Can Do to Make the Calls Stop
A bill collector will probably not take you seriously until you bring a licensed FDCPA lawyer into the legal game. By hiring a consumer protection lawyer who specializes in litigating FDCPA cases, you show Donald R Conrad that you have leveled the legal playing field. Your lawyer might send a cease and desist letter to the third party debt collector. The letter can include language stating that if Donald R. Conrad refuses to abide by the letter’s request, you will file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and your state Attorney General Office. Most, but not all bill collectors change their tactics when confronted by a FDCPA lawyer.
Do You Qualify for Monetary Damages?
Judges award monetary damages in FDCPA cases for several reasons. The key is to directly link the illegal practices used by a bill collector to any pain and suffering you have endured. Your FDCPA lawyer will have to submit documented evidence that proves you have suffered, as well as call expert witnesses to the stand to back up your claims. If you cannot prove a direct link, the FDCPA grants you the right to seek statutory damages. The one time financial penalty has a cap of $1,000.
Contact a FDCPA lawyer today to determine how to proceed with your case against Donald R. Conrad.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Donald R. Conrad or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.