Debt collection agencies are highly motivated to get consumers to pay off outstanding debts. The motivation stems from earning huge profits on debts either purchased from original creditors or collected for original creditors. High motivation often leads to aggressive debt collection practices.
Until 1977, overly aggressive debt collection tactics went unpunished under federal consumer protection law. Responding to a growing chorus of consumer discontent, the United States Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The landmark law makes it illegal for third party debt collectors to abuse and threaten consumers. It also provides consumers with the opportunity to receive monetary damages for enduring pain and suffering because of the illegal actions taken by bill collectors.
Alaska FDCPA Laws
The congressional response to consumer complaints has made the FDCPA the preeminent consumer protection law that covers American citizens living in each of the 50 states. Debt collection agencies must also abide by the FDCPA laws enacted at the state level.
Every state has passed at least one FDCPA statute that strengthens some of the legal provisions written into the federal consumer protection law. Moreover, every state that includes Alaska has established a statute of limitations for the collection of delinquent credit card and personal loan accounts.
For open accounts, the statute of limitations for collection in Alaska is three years. The three year timeline for collecting delinquent consumer debts typically begins on the date of your last transaction on the credit card or personal loan account in question.
Consumer Protections of the FDCPA and State Collection Laws
Abuse by third party debt collectors often comes in the form of foul language, as well as screaming wildly into a phone. The federal FDCPA bans all forms of verbal abuse. Bill collectors cannot threaten consumers by saying they will seize private property to pay off outstanding debts.
A debt collection agency must abide by your request to stop calling you at home and on your cell phone. If the agency continues to call you after a cease and desist request, you should contact an experienced FDCPA lawyer to ponder different legal options.
Another powerful provision written into the FDCPA prohibits third party debt collectors from contacting consumers between 9 pm and 8 am.
How do you prove that a bill collector called you in the middle of the night? In Alaska, consumers benefit from the state’s one party consent designation. This means only one of the people on a call requires permission to tape the conversation.
If a bill collector calls you before 8 am or after 9 pm, you can tape record the phone to prove the call happened, as well as establish a time stamp you can use as evidence in a civil court. Alaska FDCPA laws closely resemble the legal language written into the landmark federal FDCPA.
Never allow a debt collection agency to push you around. Speak with an Alaska licensed consumer protection attorney today to learn more about how the FDCPA grants you numerous rights that protect you against aggressive third party debt collector tactics.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Alaska’s FDCPA laws, you should seek the help of an FDCPA attorney. You may be able to seek up to $1,000 in damages for each violation of the FDCPA. An attorney will be able to help navigate you through the entire process.