You come home from a day of running errands to find the home answering machine blinking furiously. After hearing the messages, you are shocked to learn a debt collection agency is coming after you hard for owing money on a personal loan. The messages include several threats of legal action, unless you act with a sense of urgency and take care of your financial obligation. Can a third party debt collector threaten you with legal action? More important, can a bill collector threaten you in any way?
The answer to both questions is a resounding no.
About Carson Smithfield
As a debt collection agency operating in Old Bethpage, New York, Carson Smithfield has participated in more than 80 federal cases that involved the collection of outstanding consumer debts. The company specializes in collecting the balances owed on credit cards, such as the cards issued by Visa and American Express. A recent federal court case included an allegation that Carson Smithfield implemented harassing and intimidating debt collection tactics when speaking with consumers over the phone.
How the FDCPA Defines a Threat
One of the best things about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the federal consumer protection law spells out what exactly defines a threat issued by a bill collector. Passed by the United States Congress in 1977, the FDCPA outlaws the previously acceptable debt collection practice of threatening to contact a third party regarding your debt. This means Carson Smithfield breaks the law every time the company threatens to contact one of your friends or one of your family members. Third party debt collectors believe that by threatening to contact a third party, consumers will become more involved in settling a debt dispute.
Issuing threats is just one way Carson Smithfield can harass you. Another powerful debt collection tactic involves making frequent phone calls at all hours of the day. Under the FDCPA, a bill collector can call you only a couple of times a day between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm. If you live in a one party consent state, you can tape record the phone calls you have with Carson Smithfield to use as evidence when you file a claim in a civil court.
Seeking Monetary Damages
Enduring harassing and intimidating debt collection practices can take a physical and emotional toll. Physical duress symptoms triggered by bill collector abuse include skin rashes and a rapid increase in blood pressure. If a debt collection agency has threatened you in any way, the first order of business is to contact a licensed attorney who specializes in handling FDCPA cases. Your lawyer will carefully review your case to determine if enough evidence exists to warrant the filing of a civil court lawsuit.
You Need an FDCPA Lawyer By Your Side
If you take legal action against Carson Smithfield, you can expect the third party debt collector to come to court with a team of highly skilled consumer protection lawyers. This means you must counter the legal muscle by working with an experienced consumer protection attorney who knows how to litigate FDCPA cases successfully.
*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 Carson Smithfield, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.