It starts with a letter from a debt collection agency. The letter demands you pay off an outstanding credit card account that you opened years ago. In fact, you thought the debt was long forgotten by the original creditor.
However, the original creditor sold the debt to a third party debt collector for a fraction of the original amount of money owed. Now, the bill collector is driving you hard to take care of the outstanding consumer debt.
Can you do anything about the aggressive behavior of a debt collection agency? The answer is you are protected under the Fair Debt collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Having to endure the underhanded tactics implemented by a third party debt collector can trigger acute fear and anxiety.
Eventually, the harassment takes a physical and/or emotional toll. The FDCPA ensures you receive fair compensation for illegal bill collector practices.
What are the FDCPA Laws in Arkansas?
The primary objective of passing the FDCPA was to provide American citizens with a comprehensive set of legal protections against the unethical practices used by bill collectors.
Congress believed at the time that a federal consumer protection law would suffice in granting consumers the protections they needed to level the legal playing field with debt collection agencies.
However, every state has enacted FDCPA laws that not only confirm the rights granted by the FDCPA, but also to fill in the legal holes left by the original federal FDCPA.
Every state has established a statute of limitations on the collection of consumer debts. In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for written consumer contracts is five years.
Consumer Protections Covered by State and Federal FDCPA Law
What constitutes a threat under the FDCPA? How about a debt collection agency that threatens to take away your property to pay off a delinquent credit card or personal loan balance.
If a bill collector threatens to sue you for an alleged debt you no longer are obligated to pay off, the FDCPA grants you the right to take the debt collection agency to court and recover monetary damages. The FDCPA also prohibits the use of deceptive debt collection techniques.
Examples of deception include impersonating the IRS or a law enforcement agency. If a third party debt collector has taken money out of your bank account, without going through the formal wage garnishment process, you should speak with a lawyer to determine the best course of legal action.
Arkansas FDCPA laws do not cover lawyers that operate using their own names. If an attorney works for a debt collection agency, then he or she is covered under Arkansas FDCPA laws. The state statute for the FDCPA requires every bill collector to receive a license to operate legally in Arkansas.
Debt collection agencies licensed in Arkansas are limited in the amount of money they can tack on to delinquent consumer debts. Arkansas prohibits third party debt collectors from publishing a deadbeat consumer list, as well as creating a simulated legal process for the collection of outstanding debts.
Work with an FDCPA Attorney
Speak with an Arkansas licensed FDCPA lawyer to ensure you receive all the rights granted by state and federal consumer protection laws.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Arkansas’ 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.