Falling behind on your bills can trigger a life changing series of events that includes having to deal with an overly aggressive debt collection agency With money a powerful motivator, some third party debt collectors cross the legal line by harassing and intimidating consumers into paying off outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts.
It is not just overly aggressive debt collection tactics that are against the law. According to a landmark consumer protection law, a bill collector such as CBE Group cannot use deception to trick you into taking care of a debt.
Making False Statements is against the Law
On September 20, 1977, the United States Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). For the first time in American history, consumers had a legal deterrent to prevent debt collection agencies from threatening them with lawsuits, as well as repeatedly making phone calls throughout the day. The FDCPA also contains several clauses that outlaw the making of false statements regarding your debt.
The historically significant federal consumer protection law details the types of false statements a third party debt collector cannot make to you. For example, CBE Group is not allowed to collect money on a debt that you already have paid off. Some companies use this tactic because they bank on consumers not maintaining accurate personal financial records.
The FDCPA forbids companies from claiming consumers owe money on a debt that they have no legal obligation to cover. A third party debt collector might claim you owe money on a personal loan taken out by an ex-spouse that you never co-signed.
How to Handle the False Statements Made by a Bill Collector
Although the FDCPA does not include legal language that states a false statement has to be “material” for it to carry legal weight in a civil court, several court decisions have issued rulings that refer to the “material” burden of proof for false statement cases. This means you have to do more than prove a debt collection agency made false statements.
You also have to show the false statements had a negative impact on your ability to evaluate your personal financial options. A false statement made by a third party debt collector might have led you to make a decision to transfer money out of retirement plan, when you would not have otherwise taken money out of the retirement plan.
False Statements Can Lead to Monetary Damages
If CBE Group made false statements regarding your debt, the FDCPA has a provision that grants consumers the right to seek monetary damages. Under the FDCPA, you have the right to seek both statutory damages and actual damages. Statutory damages are capped by the FDCPA at $1,000 to cover every FDCPA violation committed by the same company.
Work with an FDCPA Attorney
Filing an FDCPA claim in a civil court is a serious legal matter that requires the services of a licensed FDCPA lawyer. Your attorney will review the evidence to determine if CBE Group issued false statements and if the false statements had a “material” effect on how you made personal financial decisions. Schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced FDCPA lawyer to learn more about the federal consumer protection law.
*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 CBE Group, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.