Dealing with a debt collection agency is one of life’s most unpleasant experiences. From rude representatives that call throughout the day to scathing letters that threaten legal action, consumers appear to be out maneuvered at every legal corner.
Many consumers are unaware they enjoy several protections against the harassment handed out by bill collectors. In response to growing consumer discontent, the United States Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA contains provisions that clearly define illegal debt collection agency practices. In addition, the FDCPA gives consumers a legal path towards receiving compensation for suffering from physical and/or emotional duress.
Indiana FDCPA Laws
Like most federal laws, the FDCPA applies to every American consumer living in each of the 50 states. Following enactment of the groundbreaking consumer protection law, states started to pass similar versions of the federal law.
Most states have filled in the loopholes created by the FDCPA, but in most cases, state FDCPA laws confirm the provisions written into the federal consumer protection law. Congress enacted the FDCPA primarily to end threats, verbal abuse, and blatant deception.
Indiana FDCPA laws also protect state citizens against similar unlawful bill collector conduct. The Hoosier State has established a statute of limitations for the collection of consumer debts at six years, which starts on the day of the last payment made on a delinquent credit card or personal loan account.
Protections Written into FDCPA and Indiana Collection Laws
What is considered a threat by the FDCPA? Let’s start with the common threat of a debt collection agency filing a lawsuit. Although the days of Al Capone are long gone, the FDCPA emphasizes the illegality of issuing physical threats and making threats to seize private property in attempts to liquidate the property for cash.
Third party debt collectors are prohibited from taking money out of consumer bank accounts, without first obtaining a formal wage garnishment order issued by the appropriate legal body. You also have the right to fight back against a bill collector that tries to collect a debt you have already paid off.
Indiana FDCPA laws makes it illegal for debt collection agencies to extend “extortionate” sources of credit, as well as to threaten violence in the collection of delayed payments.
For years, this statute was applied mostly to payday loan businesses, but a few recent court rulings have broadened the scope of the law to cover licensed third party debt collectors.
Otherwise, Indiana FDCPA laws simply follow the legal language written into the federal version of the consumer protection laws. If you live in Indiana and believe a bill collector has illegally harassed you, your best bet is to refer to the original FDCPA for legal guidance.
Never allow a bill collector to violate your state and federal FDCPA rights. Speak with an Indiana licensed consumer protection attorney today to learn more about how state and federal FDCPA laws help protect you.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Indiana’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.