Because of the brilliant blooming of magnolias, Mississippi has earned the nickname of The Magnolia State. Unfortunately, there is something else blooming in Mississippi and it’s not another colorful flower.
It is the growing number of debt collection agencies that harass consumers.
Mississippi consumers don’t have to take the abuse and harassment handed out by third party debt collectors. Passed by the United States Congress in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has taken the blooming out of bill collector practices.
The monumental federal consumer protection law clearly establishes what constitutes illegal debt collection agency tactics. The FDCPA also grants consumers the right to seek monetary damages by filing a civil lawsuit.
What are the FDCPA Laws in Mississippi?
Congress made the FDCPA law to give consumers a bill of rights that would level the playing field with bill collectors. The FDCPA contains broad protections granted to consumers living in each of the 50 states. You enjoy the same federally protect consumer rights whether you live in Maine or Hawaii.
Since the passage of the FDCPA, every state has enacted some form of FDCPA laws. Most state FDCPA provisions mirror what is written into the federal FDCPA. However, a few states have taken the federal FDCPA and made it stronger by granting even more consumer protections.
Mississippi represents one of the states that closely follows the legal language written into the federal FDCPA. The state has created a statute of limitations for debt collection efforts of three years, which starts on the date a credit card or personal loan account required the first debt payment.
Prohibited Harassment Tactics under FDCPA and Mississippi Collection Laws
Have you received a phone call from someone that claimed he or she represented the IRS or a law enforcement agency for the purpose of collecting an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance? If you have receive such a phone call, the person making the call violated a provision of the FDCPA.
Debt collection agencies are not allowed to make repeated phone calls within a short period and demand that consumers pay more than what is actually owed on a delinquent debt.
In addition, third party debt collectors are prohibited from calling consumers at home or on their cell phones between 9 pm and 8 am.
The phone call provision of the FDCPA raises an interesting question: How can you prove a bill collector called you in the middle of the night? Under Mississippi FDCPA laws, the state is considered a one party consent state.
This means the permission of just one person involved in a phone conversation is all it takes to make taping the phone conversation legal. Mississippi FDCPA laws also prohibit bill collectors from trying to collect debts that have already been resolved.
Under state FDCPA laws, debt collection agencies are not allowed to implement deceptive debt collection practices.
Speak with a Mississippi licensed FDCPA lawyer today to learn more about how the important law protects you against the illegal tactics used by a third party debt collector.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Mississippi’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.