For years leading up to 1977, the debt collection business was dominated by unsavory companies that stopped at nothing when chasing down outstanding consumer debts. From harassing consumers by making repeated phone calls to intimidating consumers through the issuing of threats, debt collection agencies had no legal restrictions placed on them at any government level. That all changed on September 20, 1977, when the United States passed the most influential consumer protection law ever.
Call the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the sweeping federal consumer protection law directly dealt with third party debt collectors by outlawing overly aggressive debt collection tactics. Companies responsible for collecting delinquent credit cat and personal loan accounts no longer can harass and intimidate consumers into paying off financial obligations. Although the focus of the FDCPA was to end harassment and intimidation, the federal consumer protection law also makes it illegal for companies to make false statements regarding consumer debts.
What Type of False Statements are Banned by the FDCPA?
A bill collector such as Professional Account Management, LLC is not allowed to deceive you by claiming to be another organization. The company cannot claim to be a law firm when the company does not offer legal services. In addition, Professional Account Management, LLC is prohibited from impersonating the IRS and a law enforcement agency. The IRS has no interest in outstanding consumer debts and there is not a law at any government level that makes falling behind on bills an illegal act. If you receive a letter or a phone call from someone claiming to represent the IRS or a law enforcement agency, you should act with a sense of urgency by contacting a licensed FDCPA attorney.
What to do If a Collection Agency Makes False Statements
Your FDCPA lawyer will gather evidence to prove a third party debt collector violated the FDCPA by making false statements regarding your debt. In 2018, the Eighth Circuit court issued a ruling that changed the false statements provision of the FDCPA. Not only must you prove a bill collector made false statements, you also have to show the false statements were “material” in influencing how you made personal finance decisions. You can prove a debt collection violated the FDCPA, but you might not be able to prove the violations negatively impacted your financial status.
Filing a Claim against a Third Party Debt Collector
Congress did much more than outlaw numerous debt collection practices. The federal governing body also included a provision that grants consumers the right to seek monetary damages for one or more FDCPA violations committed by the bill collector. If Professional Account Management, LLC violated the false statements provision of the FDCPA and the violation negatively affected your financial status, an experienced FDCPA might be able to recover actual damages that cover the costs associated with physical and/or emotional distress symptoms.
The Critical Role of an FDCPA Lawyer
Your FDCPA attorney has several options available to address a deceptive debt collection agency. He or she can file a claim or your FDCPA lawyer can pursue out of court options that include sending Professional Account Management, LLC a formal cease and desist order. Schedule a free initial consultation with an FDCPA attorney 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 Professional Account Management, LLC, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.