It is bad enough when a debt collection agency calls you at home just when the family settles down for the evening meal. However, the shame and embarrassment of having a third party debt collector hound you at work is much worse.
The stigma of being a financial deadbeat leaves a lasting poor impression on your professional peers. Eventually, the pressure of dealing with a bill collector can negatively impact your work performance.
Under a groundbreaking federal consumer protection law, you can make the phone calls made by a debt collection agency stop. Enacted in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Act not only makes numerous debt collection practices illegal, it also grants consumers the right to end abuse and harassment.
Moreover, the FDCPA includes a provision allowing consumers to seek monetary damages for one or more violations of the FDCPA.
New York FDCPA Laws
The United States Congress passed the FDCPA to give American consumers a comprehensive list of legal protections. Under the FDCPA, a consumer suffering from debt collection agency abuse in Montana has the same legal protections that a consumer living in Key West, Florida enjoys.
Like many federal laws, the FDCPA became the model for states to pass their own versions of FDCPA laws. One of the legal duties given to each state by the federal FDCPA involves establishing a statute of limitations for debt collection efforts.
New York has a statute of limitations for debt collections that spans six years. The Empire State begins the clock on a statute of limitations for debt collections on the last day of activity on a credit card or personal loan account.
What Protections are Granted under the FDCPA and New York Collection Laws?
Before the FDCPA became the law of the land, many third party debt collectors resorted to extortion-like acts to coerce consumers into paying off delinquent debts. The FDCPA forbids bill collectors from issuing threats, such as threatening to take consumers to court.
A third party debt collector cannot verbally abuse you in any way, as well as implement deceptive debt collection techniques to trick you into paying off an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance.
For workplace phone calls made by a bill collector, you can invoke the “reason to know” provision of the FDCPA. “Reason to know” means that by informing a debt collection agency that your employer prohibits debt collection agency phone calls at work, the third party debt collector has “reason to know” the phone calls are not permitted.
New York’s FDCPA laws expand on the powerful protections written into the federal FDCPA. The New York Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits bill collectors from sending confusing letters, adding fees to consumer debts, and making robo calls at all times of the day.
New York also has made it clear that violations of state FDCPA laws can lead to the filing of a claim that seeks monetary damages. If you live in New York and suffer from aggressive debt collection agency tactics, you are encouraged to file a complaint with the New York Attorney General Office.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating New York’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.