You arrive home from work one night to find your spouse upset. Your spouse explains that a debt collection agency called concerning an outstanding debt that you thought had disappeared years ago. The company told your spouse that the legal responsibility to pay off the debt falls on the spouse’s shoulders.
Under a groundbreaking federal consumer protection statute, the company that contacted your spouse broke the law two times. In response to growing consumer outcry, the United States Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA prohibits third party debt collectors from calling consumers repeatedly throughout the day.
Many bill collectors use the phone as an effective tool to coerce consumers into taking care of outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts. The FDCPA also bans the time-tested practice of deceiving consumers concerning personal debt. One of the most frequently types of deception used by bill collectors is to make false statements regarding consumer debts.
False Statements Banned by the FDCPA
In the case when your spouse received a phone call from a debt collection agency such as CKS Financial, LLC, the company violated two provisions of the FDCPA. First, the third party debt collector violated the FDCPA by contacting a third party regarding your debt.
The historic federal consumer protection law clearly makes it illegal for a bill collector to contact third parties regarding delinquent credit card and personal loan balances. The second violation of the FDCPA concerns the false statement made by the debt collection agency.
Unless a spouse co-signed a credit agreement, a third party debt collector should never claim the spouse is on the legal hook for a debt you are responsible to pay off. Another frequently made false statement occurs when a debt collection agency claims a consumer can go to jail for not taking care of financial obligations.
This is a blatant false statement that is typically issued by desperate third party debt collectors. The United States never has, nor ever will have prisons dedicated to housing inmates that failed to pay off their personal debts. If a company threaten you with jail time, you should quickly reach out to a state licensed FDCPA attorney.
False Statement Has to Be Material
Many court decisions have established the legal precedent that links the false statements made by bill collectors directly to how consumers reach personal financial decisions. This means it is not enough to prove a debt collection agency made a false statement regarding your debt.
You also have to demonstrate that the false statement negatively influenced how you handled your personal finances. In the case of the spouse receiving a phone call from a third party debt collector, you might have transferred money from one of your bank accounts into one of the spouse’s bank accounts.
The Right to Seek Monetary Damages
Having to deal with a deceptive bill collector can trigger a considerable amount of stress and anxiety. The result can be the development of debilitating physical duress symptoms, such as an increase in blood pressure and/or breaking out in skin rashes.
The FDCPA allows consumers to seek actual damages for suffering from physical distress symptoms. You need to present convincing evidence in the form of documentation, as well as testimony from credentialed healthcare professionals.
Never let a debt collection agency get away with making false statements. Schedule a free initial consultation today with a consumer protection lawyer who specializes in litigating FDCPA cases.
*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 CKS Financial, LLC, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.