Why do far too many debt collection agencies continue to violate a federal consumer protection law that bans the practice of making false statements regarding personal debts? The answer is third party debt collectors make a lot of money tracking down consumers and forcing them to pay off outstanding credit card and personal loan balances. Did Account Services Collections, Inc. make false statements regarding your debt? If you answered yes, you might qualify to receive monetary damages for your pain and suffering.
What Constitutes False Statements?
Responding to the pressure applied by a growing number of consumers, the United States Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Although the primary intent of the groundbreaking federal consumer protection law was to eliminate overly aggressive debt collection tactics, Congress also addressed the longstanding practice of making false statements to trick consumers into paying off personal debts.
Although the FDCPA clearly prohibits any false statement, there are several types of false statements that appear most often in cases involving the FDCPA. A third party debt collector like Account Services Collections, Inc. cannot threaten to sue you or threaten to put you in jail for not paying off a debt. Account Services Collections, Inc. can file a lawsuit seeking payment on an outstanding credit card or personal loan account. However, the company cannot claim it will file the lawsuit. The United States does not have debtor prisons, which makes the threat to put you in jail a false statement.
How to Address False Statements
Although the FDCPA does not place any restrictions on consumers that have endured the false statements made by a bill collector, court rulings subsequent to the passage of the FDCPA have added a stipulation that makes it more difficult to prove the making of false statements. The most recent ruling was issued in 2018 by the eighth Circuit court. According to the 2018 ruling, consumers now must show the false statements made by a debt collection agency must be “material” to personal finances. The “material” interpretation of the false statement provision of the FDCPA means you have to demonstrate a bill collector’s illegal action had a direct adverse impact on your financial situation.
Seeking Monetary Damages under the FDCPA
The powerful FDCPA contains a provision that give consumers the right to file a claim seeking monetary damages. Statutory damages, which cannot exceed $1,000, cover all violations of the federal consumer protection law. If you can show Account Services Collections, Inc. made false statements that had a direct negative affect on your finances, then you can proceed with a claim that seeks actual damages.
Work with a Licensed FDCPA Attorney
Because of the recent adoption of the “material” rule by many courts, it is imperative that you work with a licensed consumer protection lawyer who specializes in handling FDCPA cases. Your FDCPA attorney will know exactly how to prove a debt collection agency made false statements, as well as show that the false statements detracted from your personal financial situation. Most FDCPA lawyers schedule free initial consultations with clients 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 Account Services Collections, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.