Falling behind on bills is one of life’s toughest curve balls to handle. The pressure from original creditors is bad enough, but the heat turns up considerably when a debt collection agency contacts you regarding a debt.
Despite the passage of a historic federal consumer protection law, some third party debt collectors continue to harass and intimidate consumers into taking care of outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts.
Written into law by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) forbids bill collectors from using overly aggressive debt collection techniques. The FDCPA makes it illegal for a debt collection agency like Convergent to threaten you in any way.
Convergent cannot threaten to garnish your wages or threaten to contact a third party regarding your debt. In addition, the FDCPA bans the longstanding practice of making false statements regarding consumer debts.
What Type of False Statements Do Third Party Debt Collectors Make?
Bill collectors have several ways to mislead consumer by making false statements. The companies can outright lie directly to consumers, as well as mislead another person in regards to your debt.
One segment of the population that is especially vulnerable to bill collector issued false statements are students attending college. Some debt collection agencies prey on students that owe money on loans by misrepresenting the terms of the loans.
For example, a third party debt collector might claim falling behind on a student loan can lead to the repossession of an automobile. Other types of lies concerning student debt include misleading statements about the amount of interest that is due monthly on a student loan.
Must Show a “Material” Connection
The FDCPA requires consumers to present enough evidence that proves FDCPA violations. There is one exception to the rule, and the exception is the false statements provision of the monumental federal consumer protection law.
A United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth circuit ruling in 2018 now requires consumers to demonstrate a “material” link between the false statements made by a bill collector and the decisions made that pertain to a consumer debt. To win a false statements judgment in a civil court, you have to prove the existence of false statements and that the false statements negatively impacted your ability to make sound financial decisions.
Seeking Monetary Damages for FDCPA Violations
In addition to banning dozens of previously acceptable debt collection tactics, the FDCPA also gives consumers the right to file claims seeking monetary damages.
You can file a lawsuit that seeks statutory damages for all FDCPA violations or you have the right to have a third party debt collector pay for the pain and suffering caused by false statements.
Suffering physical and/or emotional distress symptoms that result from the actions of a debt collection agency is sufficient grounds for filing a claim in civil court. Emotional symptoms include wild mood swings and frequent outbursts at work.
A licensed FDCPA lawyer can help you win an FDCPA case. Schedule a free initial consultation today 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 Convergent, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.