If you have fallen behind on your financial obligations, you understand the pressure of playing catch up can overwhelm you. You have to make substantial changes to your lifestyle, which can include working overtime and/or taking on a part time job. However, the pressure you feel when you fall behind on your bills is nothing to the pressure of having to deal with a debt collection agency.
The debt collection game used to be one that third party debt collectors dominated. That all changed in 1977, when the United States Congress enacted the historic Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). According to the FDCPA, a bill collector like Commonwealth Financial Systems is prohibited from harassing and intimidating you into paying off a delinquent credit card or personal loan account. The FDCPA also makes it illegal for a debt collection agency to make false statements regarding your debt.
What False Statements Could a Third Party Debt Collector Make?
College students are especially susceptible to the deceptive debt collection tactics implemented by some bill collectors. You might be years removed from receiving your college diploma, but you still paying off a costly student loan. Make sure you are paying what you actually owe, as some companies try to get more money out of consumers than the companies deserve. In addition, play close attention to your rights as granted by federal law. One of the ways a debt collection agency can deceive you is by making a false statement that pertains to your student loan rights.
Even if you are not on the financial hook for a student loan, a bill collector can deceive you by impersonating the IRS, a law firm, or a law enforcement agency. You should know the IRS has no interested in your personal debts. The United States does not have debtor prisons, which makes the law enforcement agency claim a false statement. If a third party debt collector claims to be a law firm, it better be a law firm. Otherwise, the company has made a false statement that violated the FDCPA.
Are You Entitled to Financial Compensation?
Before 2018, it was relatively easy to proceed with a claim that a bill collector violated the FDCPA by making false claims. An Eighth Circuit court ruling added an extra step for consumers to receive just compensation for FDCPA violations. Not only do you have to prove a bill collector made false statements, you also have to show the false statements were “material” in how you made personal finance decisions. In other words, for you to receive monetary damages in a false statements case, you have to demonstrate the false statements had a negative impact on how you reached financial decisions.
Hire an FDCPA Attorney
The “material” ruling issued by several courts in 2018 makes it imperative that you hire an FDCPA lawyer to fight back against a debt collection agency that made false statements. Your FDCPA attorney will gather the evidence required to move your case forward in a civil court. Most FDCPA attorney 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 Commonwealth Financial Systems, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.