For nearly 200 years after the founding of the United States, American consumers had little legal recourse to fight back against the aggressive debt collection tactics used by debt collection agencies.
In response to a rapidly number of consumer complaints, the United States Congress passed the groundbreaking Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in September of 1977. The FDCPA lists numerous practices that are considered illegal under federal consumer protection law.
For example, a third party debt collector is not permitted to try to collect an alleged debt that has already been paid off. After more than four decades, the FDCPA remains the preeminent consumer protection law in the United States.
Colorado’s Take on the FDCPA
Although the comprehensive list of consumer protections granted by the FDCPA covers every American citizen, most states have passed their own version of FDCPA laws. Colorado has led the legal way on several issues, including the legalization of cannabis.
For its version of the FDCPA, Colorado has given consumers more legal power to seek monetary damages for enduring illegal bill collector practices. Like other states, Colorado FDCPA laws contain a statute of limitations for collecting outstanding credit card and personal loan balances.
Regardless of the type of debt, the statute of limitations for collecting the debt runs six years. The statute of limitations starts on the day when a consumer credit account had its last activity.
What Protections Do You Have under Federal and Colorado FDCPA Laws?
The FDCPA enacted by the United States Congress includes several powerful provisions that outlaw bill collector practices. Did you know that a debt collection agency cannot call you at home or on your cell phone between 9 pm and 8 am?
If you receive phone calls from a third party debt collector outside of the legally accepted times, you have the right to demand the phone calls stop. After you send a formal notice requesting the end of all phone calls and the calls continue to flow into your home, you should contact an experienced FDCPA lawyer to see if you qualify for the reception of monetary damages.
The FDCPA prohibits threats made by bill collectors, such as threatening you with physical harm if you do not pay off a delinquent consumer debt.
Colorado FDCPA laws not only apply to debt collection agencies, the laws also cover the illegal actions of original creditors. Rocky Mountain State FDCPA laws have outlawed “unconscionable debt collection practices,” including the misrepresentation of a third party debt collector and/or lying about the amount of money owed on a credit card or a personal loan account.
As with the federal FDCPA, Colorado FDCPA laws grant consumers the right to sue unethical third party debt collectors for monetary damages. Consumers also have the right to request a court to approve an injunction that ends certain bill collector practices.
Bill collectors like to leave consumers in the dark when it comes to state and federal FDCPA rights. Speak with a consumer protection attorney to learn about how Colorado FDCPA laws can help protect you.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Colorado’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.