You have received a letter from a debt collection agency requesting full payment for an outstanding credit card account you thought the original creditor had officially closed. Third party debt collectors often purchase delinquent consumer debts for a fraction of the entire balance.
This means a bill collector has plenty of financial incentive to force you into paying off a delinquent consumer debt. Under a federal law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collection agency that contacts you must follow a long list of acceptable debt collection practices.
The United States Congress made the FDCPA the ultimate consumer protection law in the United States. For consumers, the key is to work with an experienced FDCPA lawyer to get debt collection agencies off their backs.
What are Hawaii FDCPA Laws?
Congress passed the FDCPA to provide legal protections for every American consumer. The same legal protections granted to a consumer living in Michigan are also granted to a consumer from Southern California.
However, every state has followed the federal lead by enacting a set of consumer protection laws. In most cases, state FDCPA laws mirror what is written into the FDCPA. For example, Hawaii’s FDCPA laws essentially confirm the legal language written into the landmark federal consumer protection law.
The biggest difference in the state FDCPA laws involves the length of the debt collection statute of limitations. In Hawaii, the statute of limitations for collecting consumer debts is six years for written contracts.
The statute of limitations begins on the day of the last payment made on a credit card or personal loan account.
Consumer Protections under the FDCPA and Hawaii Collection Laws
Did you know that under the FDCPA, if a debt collection agency continues to harass you after being told to stop the illegal tactics, you have the right to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit in a civil court?
The FDCPA also bans the practice of third party debt collectors threatening consumers, such as issuing a threat to seize private property if a debt is not paid off. A bill collector is not allowed to publish your name on a bad debt list.
The FDCPA also contains a provision that forbids bill collectors from calling consumers between 9 pm and 8 am. How do you prove a debt collection agency violated the time restriction provision of the FDCPA? The answer is by referring to Hawaii FDCPA laws.
Hawaii is considered a one party consent state, which means only one of the parties engaged in a phone conversation has to consent to taping the phone call. Hawaii also accounts for the age of a consumer that is harassed by a bill collector. If a consumer is at least 62 years old, any illegal debt collection practices will result in harsher penalties.
Don’t let a debt collection agency walk all over you. Speak with a Hawaii licensed consumer protection attorney to learn more about how the FDCPA can help protect you.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Hawaii’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.