After a productive meeting, you return to the office with a couple of colleagues. Not concerned with the content of the messages left on the office voicemail system, you play the messages back in front of your professional peers. The embarrassment of hearing from a debt collection agency such as Hunter Warfield, Inc. carries over at the office for several weeks. You begin to suffer from sleepless nights, as well as pounding migraine headaches.
Has the third party debt collector violated a federal consumer protection law?
What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?
In response to a strong outcry from consumers, the United States Congress wrote the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) into law on September 20, 1977. The landmark consumer protection law addresses dozens of previously acceptable debt collection tactics. For example, the FDCPA makes it illegal for third party debt collectors to use deception when trying to collect on outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts. With much of the focus on phone calls, how does the FDCPA address the voicemails left by bill collectors?
The answer is tucked within a provision that discusses third party communications. According to the FDCPA, third party debt collectors cannot intimidate consumers by reaching out to friends, family members, and professional peers. Before 1977, many bill collectors contacted third parties in regards to consumer debts for the purpose of shaming consumers into taking care of their debts. By leaving a voicemail, Hunter Warfield, Inc. makes it highly unlikely that a third party does not hear the message. If you received a voicemail from Hunter Warfield, Inc. you should immediately get in touch with a FDCPA lawyer.
Other Voicemail Violations under the FDCPA
Handing a recording of a voicemail over to your FDCPA attorney will help you fight back against a debt collection agency. If you cannot prove a third party listened to a voicemail message, your FDCPA lawyer will examine other legal options. Did Hunter Warfield, Inc. threaten you in any way. Did the third party debt collector repeatedly leave voicemails throughout the day. Did you receive voicemails from a bill collector that contain vulgar language? If you answered yes to any of the questions, you might have a strong enough case to file lawsuit against a debt collection agency.
File a Claim with the Help of a FDCPA Lawyer
Your FDCPA attorney has two ways to recover damages for a FDCPA violation. First, he or she can seek statutory damages for all of the violations committed by a third party debt collector like Hunter Warfield, Inc. Statutory damages under the FDCPA are capped at $1,000. The second way to recover just compensation involves seeking monetary damages for the pain and suffering caused by FDCPA violations. Monetary damages cover the cost of treating physical and emotional distress symptoms. It is a much harder case to prove because you need to submit detailed evidence that includes medical documents and the expert testimony of certified healthcare professionals. Instead of filing a claim, your FDCPA lawyer might decide to negotiate a settlement of your outstanding credit card or personal loan balance.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Hunter Warfield, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.