Have you received a letter from a debt collection agency that threatens to take you to court? Does a third party debt collector call you repeatedly late at night to coerce you into paying off an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance.
Has a bill collector impersonated the IRS to bully you into paying more on a debt that you actually owe?
All three of these actions are consider illegal under a monumental consumer protection law.
Passed by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lists a large number of unacceptable debt collection agency practices.
The FDCPA also grants you the power to file a lawsuit in civil court to recover the financial losses caused by illegal debt collection practices. You have the right to recover money lost because of physical and/or emotional duress, as well as any wages garnished to pay off an outstanding consumer debt.
An Important New Hampshire FDCPA Law
Congress wrote the FDCPA into law in response to growing consumer anger that concerned how third party debt collectors treated them. Before 1977, bill collectors could do just about anything to force consumers into paying off delinquent debts.
The FDCPA represents the most comprehensive consumer protection law ever passed, and it covers every consumer conducting business inside the United States. Almost every state has enacted FDCPA laws, with one of the most important provisions being the statute of limitations.
New Hampshire FDCPA laws stipulate that bill collectors have three years to pursue collection efforts on contracts and open accounts. The three-year statute of limitation starts on the day of the last activity on a credit card or personal loan account.
Anti-Harassment Protections Granted by the FDCPA and New Hampshire Collection Laws
The FDCPA makes it clear that you enjoy the legal right to send a debt collection agency a formal notice requesting the end of all forms of communication. Third party debt collectors are prohibited from calling consumers at work if they have a “reason to know” the calls are not permitted by employers.
Your employer does not have to inform a bill collector about company policy; all you have to do is explain the policy to the debt collection agency. A third party debt collector cannot speak with other parties concerning the money you owe on a delinquent credit card or personal loan account.
One of the legal foundations of the FDCPA prohibits a bill collector from calling you between 9 pm and 8 am. However, proving a debt collection agency called you after hours is tough to do in New Hampshire.
The Granite State is called an all party consent state, meaning every party involved in a phone conversation must give permission for the phone call to be tape recorded. New Hampshire FDCPA laws state “no debt collector shall collect or attempt to collect a debt in an unfair, deceptive or unreasonable manner as defined in this chapter.”
Speak with a New Hampshire licensed consumer protection attorney to ensure you receive all the rights granted by the FDCPA.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating New Hampshire’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.