Have you received threatening phone calls from a debt collection agency? Does a third party debt collector use abusive language in an attempt to intimidate you into settling an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance?
Has a bill collector threaten to sue you for falling behind on your bills? If you are under the legal fire delivered by a debt collection agency, you can rely on a federal law to help protect you against aggressive debt collection tactics.
Enacted by the United States Congress in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits dozens of debt collection practices that were considered legal for decades.
The provisions written into the FDCPA clearly ban aggressive debt collection tactics, such as issuing threats and using abusive language. Under the FDCPA, consumers have the right to seek monetary damages caused by the pain and suffering inflicted by third party debt collector practices.
FDCPA Laws in Utah
Federal legislators made it clear back in 1977 the FDCPA represents a comprehensive consumer protection law that covers every American consumer living in each of the 50 states. This means a consumer living in Miami enjoys the same legal protections as the legal protection provided for a consumer living in Seattle.
In addition to the federal FDCPA, most state have enacted similar FDCPA laws to give the federal provisions more legal teeth. One of the statutes written into law by state legislators involves the statute of limitations for debt collections.
In Utah, bill collectors have six years to collect outstanding debts from written contracts, as well as four years to pursue debt collection efforts for oral contracts.
Harassment Protections under the FDCPA and Utah Debt Collection Laws
Have you ever received a phone call from a debt collection agency before eight in the morning and after nine at night? If you have, you can work with a Utah licensed FDCPA attorney to make the phone calls stop.
The FDCPA outlaws the practice of third party debt collectors demanding more than is actually owed, as well as asking for money on an account that has already been paid off. You do not have to tolerate a bill collector contacting close friends and family members.
Shame is often a debt collection agency’s trump card when it comes to debt collection efforts.
The most effective way for you to prove a third party debt collector has called you after 9 pm and before 8 am is to tape record the phone conversation. Utah is considered a one party consent state, which means you do not have to ask the bill collector for permission to tape record a phone conversation.
With a recorded phone call, you have a time stamp that proves the bill collector violated the FDCPA. Before a debt collection agency files a lawsuit in civil court, the company must mail you a notice that confirms all the information connected to the delinquent credit card or personal loan account.
In Utah, you have 30 days to dispute or request verification of a debt. Verification under Utah law means seeking more information about the debt in question.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Utah’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.