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How Georgia's FDCPA Laws Can Help Protect You

Stop The Harassment

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You can run, but you can’t hide.

You’ve heard one of the most quoted axioms ever created. How does it apply to debt collection agencies? Well, third party debt collectors want consumers to fear them. They want you to think you can throw away a debt collection letter, but eventually, you will succumb to constant harassment and pay off an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance.

However, that was the accepted outcome of bill collector harassment before September 20, 1977. On that day, the United States Congress passed the ultimate consumer bill of rights called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

The FDCPA clearly outlaws certain debt collection practices, as well as allows consumer to seek monetary damages for physical and emotional distress caused by illegal debt collection agency practices.

Georgia’s Version of the FDCPA

The United States Congress enacted the FDCPA to create a uniform set of consumer protection provisions that cover every American citizen. States have passed debt collection laws to provide consumers with more protections and/or to give the FDCPA stronger legal teeth.

Georgia has on the books a consumer protection law called the Georgia Industrial Loan Act, which primarily deals with consumer loans or money advances that are worth less than $3,000.

Like every other state, Georgia mandates a statute of limitations for the collection of delinquent credit card and personal loan accounts. The Peach State limits debt collection efforts to six years for written contracts, which begins on the day a consumer last made a payment on a debt.

How Georgia's FDCPA Laws Can Help Protect You

Protections Granted by the FDCPA and Georgia Law

Under the FDCPA, third party debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in a large number of aggressive acts. For example, the FDCPA makes it illegal for bill collectors to physically threaten you, as well as threaten to involve your relatives in attempts to persuade you to fork over money to pay off a consumer debt.

The FDCPA also forbids debt collection agencies from implementing deceptive debt collection tactics, including the impersonation of a law enforcement agency.

Federal consumer protection law requires debt collection agencies to call consumers at specific times. A third party debt collector is not allowed to call you after 9 pm and before 8 am. Georgia’s statute for phone call time constraint falls between 10 pm and 5 am, which is not as restrictive as the FDCPA.

Thus, your lawyer will invoke the FDCPA time constraint of between 9 pm and 8 am. Georgia consumer protection laws consider it harassment for bill collectors to force consumer to pay for expenses like telegram fees and long distance phone calls.

Since the FDCPA permits consumers to file lawsuits for seeking monetary damages, you should keep financial records of every expense incurred because of the harassment conducted by a debt collection agency.

Comparing the FDCPA with Georgia’s consumer protection laws can be confusing. Clarify how you are covered by consumer protection laws by speaking with a Georgia licensed FDCPA attorney today.

If you believe that a debt collector is violating Georgia’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.

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