Falling behind on bills can produce a level of frustration that diminishes the quality of your personal and professional relationships. On top of the demise of your relationships, a debt collection agency like MRS Associates has started harassing you by making repeated phone calls throughout the day.
When it appears you have hit rock bottom, the third party debt collector delivers a crushing blow by threatening to garnish your wages. You might think there is nothing you can do, but according to a groundbreaking federal consumer protection law, you do not have to tolerate the harassment handed out by a bill collector.
On September 20, 1977, the United States Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to level the legal playing field between consumers and debt collection agencies. Under the FDCPA, MRS Associates is banned from calling you between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am.
The company must also refrain from harassing you by making repeated phone calls to your home landline, as well as to your place of employment. In addition to outlawing overly aggressive phone calls, MRS Associates is not permitted to threaten you in any way.
What Types of Threats are Forbidden by the FDCPA?
The FDCPA is much more than a general consumer protection law that requires state and federal government agencies to fill in the legal blanks. According to the FDCPA, third party debt collectors are prohibited from issuing specific threats, such as threatening to seize private property to pay off delinquent credit card and personal loan accounts.
MRS Associates cannot threaten to garnish your wages, although the company is within the legal guidelines established by the FDCPA to seek a court order that allows the company to garnish your wages.
Another threat barred by the FDCPA involves the timeless practice of a bill collector threatening to contact a third party regarding your debt. For proving you received threats from a company such as MRS Associates, you need to gather physical evidence that proves the threats were made.
A photocopy of the original letter containing a threat is a good start for collecting evidence against MRS Associates. Another form of physical evidence is a tape recording of a phone conversation held with a bill collector that includes an obvious verbal threat.
Are You Eligible for Monetary Damages?
Working with licensed consumer protection lawyer who specializes in handling FDCPA cases will help determine whether you are eligible to receive monetary damages for one or more violations of the FDCPA.
Statutory damages represent a one-time monetary award that covers every violation of the monumental federal consumer protection law. Congress capped the maximum amount award for statutory damages at $1,000.
Your FDCPA attorney might also request that MRS Associates pay for your attorney fees, which can be a financial burden for consumers when cases drag on for months. Another form of judicial relief is called an injunctive order.
Having an injunctive order approved by a civil court judge forces a debt collection agency to stop communicating with you. Never allow a debt collection agency to get away with issuing threats.
Schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced consumer protection lawyer who has compiled an impressive record of winning FDCPA cases.
*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 MRS Associates, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.