You come home one day after work to find the voice messaging system overloaded with messages. A debt collection agency left most of the messages, and the messages grow increasingly hostile in tone. In addition to issuing a number of threats, the third party debt collector also claims you owe money on a debt that you know is no longer valid. Did Ace Cash Express make false statements regarding your debt? If you answered yes, then you should know about a longstanding federal consumer protection law.
In response to public pressure, the United States Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The 1977 federal consumer protection law bars debt collection agencies from implementing overly aggressive debt collection tactics, such as issuing threats to coerce consumers into paying off delinquent credit card and personal loan balances.
A third party debt collector like Ace Cash Express is also prohibited from using deception to trick you into doing something you would not have otherwise done. Making false statements is perhaps the most frequent deceptive debt collection practice used by many bill collectors.
Examples of False Statements Banned by the FDCPA
Imitation might be the finest form of flattery, but that is certainly not the case when a debt collection agency impersonates another organization. It is against the law for a third party debt collector to impersonate the IRS, which some companies do because it instills fear into consumers.
A bill collector such as Ace Cash Express cannot impersonate a representative from a law enforcement agency. If a bill collector representative claims to be from a federal law enforcement agency, simply explain you know the United States does not punish anyone for falling behind on their bills.
What You Should Do If Ace Cash Express Makes False Statements
Since making false statements regarding your debt violates the FDCPA, the first thing on your to do list is to contact a licensed FDCPA lawyer. In 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a ruling that modified how the false statements provision of the FDCPA should be interpreted.
Not only will your attorney have to gather evidence that proves Ace Cash Express made false statements, he or she will have to demonstrate the false statements were “material” in how you made financial decisions. For example, a false statement issued by a bill collector might have caused you to send money that you would have otherwise used to pay off another consumer debt
Are You Entitled to Monetary Damages?
The FDCPA does much more than simply outlaw dozens of previously legal debt collection tactics. It also punished debt collection agencies that break the law by giving consumers the right to seek monetary damages.
Actual damages, which the FDCPA does not limit, cover the costs associated with suffering from physical and/or emotional distress symptoms. Dealing with a deceptive third party debt collector can trigger physical duress symptoms such as skin rashes and long lasting ulcers.
Never allow a bill collector to get away with making false statements regarding your debt. Schedule a free initial consultation today with a highly rated FDCPA lawyer.
*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 Ace Cash Express, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.