You come back to the office after a business seminar to find the company administrative assistant has left a note explaining that a debt collection agency tried to reach you at work. Stunned by the fact that a co-worker knows about your financial predicament, you try to figure out how to get out of the financial mess.
To make matters worse, the third party debt collector is trying to get you to pay more for an outstanding consumer debt that you actually owe. The time has come to take advantage of the consumer protections written into the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
About Municipal Services Bureau
Municipal Services Bureau, which operates out of Austin, Texas, represents a bill collector that handles cases involving credit card and personal loan accounts. The company has received the highly coveted A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but is has not received accreditation from the consumer advocacy organization.
The reason for the lack of accreditation seems to be several violations of the FDCPA, especially the provision that limits the phone calls made by debt collection agencies to between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm.
Deception is Prohibited by the FDCPA
The debt collection business is often a dirty business that involves the implementation of overly aggressive tactics. For decades before 1977, many third party debt collectors resorted to harassment and intimidation in attempts to coerce consumers into taking action. Issuing threats like threatening to seize private property became enough of a thorn in the sides of consumers that the federal government took action by writing the FDCPA into law.
Although threats receive much of the legal spotlight, the FDCPA also bans the use of deception during debt collection efforts. Municipal Services Bureau is not allowed to impersonate the IRS or a law enforcement agency.
The bill collector is forbidden from requesting money for a debt you already paid off, as well as demand you send in more money than what you owe on an outstanding credit card or personal loan account. If you receive a letter that appears to be falsely misrepresenting a court or a government agency, you should take immediate action by speaking with a licensed FDCPA lawyer.
Do You Qualify for Actual Damages?
According to the FDCPA, actual damages in FDCPA cases can be awarded for the pain and suffering caused by physical and/or emotional duress. Dealing with an overly aggressive debt collection agency can leave both physical and emotional scars.
Some of the physical symptoms caused by immense stress include breaking out into hives and having to deal with frequent debilitating migraine headaches. Your FDCPA attorney will present medical documentation and solicit the expert testimony of the healthcare professionals that diagnosed and treated you. Emotional distress symptoms can be harder to prove, such as having a much more difficult time communicating with your professional peers.
Stop Deception before it Stops You
Municipal Services Bureau will have a team of highly skilled litigators on its side during a civil court case. This means you cannot afford to take chances on an attorney who has little, if any FDCPA litigation experience. Schedule a free initial consultation with an FDCPA lawyer to bolster your FDCPA case in front of a civil court judge.
*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 Municipal Services Bureau, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.