Falling behind on bills can trigger shame and embarrassment. The financial pressure spills over into the workplace and at home. To make matters worse, you received a phone call from a debt collection agency demanding full payment on an outstanding credit card account.
Now, the pressure of falling behind on bills has morphed into acute anxiety. You don’t know where to turn, but fortunately for consumers, there is a federal law that protects them against the unethical practices implemented by bill collectors.
Passed by the United States Congress in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlaws numerous previously acceptable debt collection agency tactics. The monumental federal consumer protection law also provides consumers with the option to file a lawsuit in civil court.
Civil lawsuits attempt to punish third party debt collectors, as well as compensate consumers for suffering from the disastrous effects of prolonged physical and emotional distress.
How Idaho Deals with Bill Collectors
Congress wanted the FDCPA to cover every American consumer living in each of the 50 states. In addition to the landmark consumer protection law, debt collection agencies must also closely follow state FDCPA laws.
Every state has passed some form of FDCPA laws that typically confirm the intent of the federal version of the consumer protection law. Many states like Idaho have tighten the restrictions on third party debt collectors.
Moreover, each state has imposed a statute of limitation on the collection of delinquent credit card and personal loan balances. In Idaho, the statute of limitations for collecting consumer debts is four years for open accounts such as an outstanding credit card balance.
FDCPA and State Collection Law Protections
When Congress heard the complaints made by consumers back in the 1970s, they frequently heard about how third party debt collectors used threats and abusive language to coerce consumers into paying off delinquent debts.
As one of the first provisions written into the FDCPA, Congress made it illegal for bill collectors to issue threats like seizing property and confiscating bank accounts. Debt collection agencies are also forbidden to use abusive language and employ deceptive debt collection tactics.
Deception can be impersonating the IRS or telling a consumer that the agency has contacted family members about the debt in question.
Idaho residents enjoy the FDCPA protections when it comes to threats, deception, and abusive language. However, the Idaho state legislature added more specific language into the state’s FDCPA laws by clearly defining every type of practice involving threats and deception.
Idaho FDCPA laws requires bill collectors to engage in fair and honest dealings, which in court means debt collection agencies cannot make any untrue statements. Debt collection agencies are not permitted to collect unauthorized fees and they are prohibited from sending forged legal documents.
State FDCPA laws do not cover every type of third party debt collector; it covers companies that receive licenses to collect delinquent consumer debts.
Speak with an Idaho licensed FDCPA attorney today to learn more about your consumer protection rights.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Idaho’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.