If you have received a phone call from a debt collection agency demanding payment for an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance, you have the right to request the third party debt collector stop contacting you at home.
The right to request the stop of all forms of communication is just one provision that protects consumers under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). However, the FDCPA loses much of it effectiveness if consumers fight back against debt collection agencies by themselves.
By working with an accomplished FDCPA lawyer, you will make sure the cease and desist letter you send a third party debt collector has the legal teeth to make the letters and phone calls stop.
FDCPA Laws in California
Known as the most influential state in the country when it comes to introducing new laws, California quickly followed the federal government’s lead by passing its version of the FDCPA.
The Golden State’s FDCPA laws have in many instances created more restrictions placed on bill collectors than the restrictions placed by the federal consumer protection law. Moreover, California has added more provisions that outlaw additional unfair, abusive, and deceptive debt collection tactics.
The California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (CFDCPA) covers more categories of bill collectors, as well as ensuring consumers receive more protections. Several other states have modeled FDCPA statutes after the laws passed by the California state legislature.
Protections Granted by the FDCPA and California Collection Laws
Passed by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the FDCPA prohibits a vast number of previously accepted debt collection practices. For example, a third party debt collector cannot threaten to seize any of your private property or threaten to take you to court in an attempt to collect a delinquent consumer debt.
A debt collection agency is also forbidden from publishing your name on a bad debt list, with the goal of shaming you enough to give up your state and federal FDCPA rights.
If a debt collection agency impersonates a law enforcement agency, you should immediately contact a consumer protection attorney to invoke your FDCPA rights.
The CFDCPA prohibits third party debt collectors from threatening to use physical force or implement criminal strategies in attempts to coerce consumers into paying off credit card and personal loan accounts.
Third party debt collectors are not allowed to claim they will assign a consumer debt to a law enforcement agency. You do not have to put up with defamatory statements, nor endure abusive language in both oral and written form.
One of the unique aspects of state FDCPA laws is that each state sets its own statute of limitations for the collection of delinquent consumer debts. In California, the statute of limitations for written credit contracts is four years, while oral credits contracts come with a statute of limitation that last two years.
This means that even if you owe money on an outstanding consumer debt, the debt becomes invalid if a debt collection agency tries to collect on it more than four years after the last activity on the account.
Get the Help from an Attorney
Speak with a California licensed FDCPA lawyer today to learn more about how the landmark federal law protects you.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating California’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.