When you think of illegal debt collection techniques, you probably think about overly aggressive tactics. From harassing consumers over the phone to issuing intimidating threats, some debt collection agencies stop at nothing when trying to coerce consumers into paying off outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts.
Fortunately, a long standing federal consumer protection law bans the previously acceptable debt collection practice of harassing and intimidating consumers.
Passed by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits third party debt collectors from implementing overly aggressive debt collection tactics. Under the FDCPA, a bill collector such as Scott & Associates cannot hound you by calling frequently throughout the day.
The company is banned from issuing threats as well. In addition to addressing harassing and intimidating debt collection tactics, the FDCPA also makes it illegal for a company to make false statements regarding your debt.
Examples of False Statements
One of the most effective false statements issued by some debt collection agencies involves the companies claiming to be affiliated with an attorney.
This is an effective debt collection technique because of the fear instilled in consumers when having to deal with lawyers. Remember that in a few cases, companies charged with collecting debts are actual law firms.
Another way a third party debt collector can deceive you by making false statements is misrepresenting the rights students have when it comes to paying off student loans. Some companies bank on student naivete to lie about the student debtor rights granted by federal law.
What You Can Do If Scott & Associates Makes False Statements
If you can prove a debt collection agency made one or more false statements, you have to take immediate action by contacting a licensed consumer protection attorney who has compiled an impressive record of litigating FDCPA cases.
Your FDCPA lawyer will be aware of a 2018 ruling issued by the Eighth Circuit court that requires consumers to demonstrate the false statements made by a bill collector were “material” in impacting how consumers made financial decisions.
In the student loan example, a false statement made by a third party debt collector might be considered “material,” if the student sent the company more money than was actually owed on the account.
The FDCPA and Monetary Damages
The United States Congress did much more than outlaw dozens of previously legal debt collection tactics. According to the FDCPA, consumers have the right to seek monetary damages for one or more violations committed by the same debt collection agency.
As the most common type of monetary award, statutory damages cover every violation of the FDCPA. The FDCPA permits consumers to request statutory damages up to $1,000.
Speak with an Experienced FDCPA Attorney
You can expect Scott & Associates to be represented by a team of highly capable lawyers. Make sure you balance the scale of justice by working with an accomplished FDCPA attorney. Your lawyer will gather the evidence needed to justify the filing of a claim in civil court.
Most FDCPA lawyers 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 Scott & Associates, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.