Are you under fire from an overly aggressive debt collection agency? Has a third party debt collector crossed the legal line by calling you repeatedly at home long after the sun has gone down? Do you endure sleepless nights of tossing and turning because of the actions of a bill collector?
Because of a groundbreaking consumer protection law, you do not have to take abuse or the threats delivered by a debt collection agency.
In response to growing consumer anger, the United States Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA clearly bans dozens of debt collection practices that were considered part of the game since third party debt collectors came into business.
Techniques like shaming consumers into paying of credit card and personal loan accounts are no longer permitted under federal consumer protection law. In addition, the FDCPA grants consumers the right to seek monetary damages for violations of the federal consumer protection law.
FDCPA Laws in Virginia
As the supreme consumer protection law of the land, the FDCPA covers every American consumer living in each of the 50 states. Like most states, Virginia has enacted FDCPA laws that at the very least, confirm the legal language written into the federal FDCPA law.
Virginia has also followed the lead of every state by establishing a statute of limitations on the collection of outstanding consumer debts. In Virginia, a third party debt collector has six years for virtually every type of debt to pursue debt collection efforts.
The statute of limitations for collecting delinquent consumer debts in Virginia starts on the first day an account is overdue.
Harassment Protections under the FDCPA and Virginia Collection Laws
Has a bill collector called you after 9 pm or before 8 am? If you have dealt with phone calls made at odd hours of the day, you might have a strong enough case to file a FDCPA claim.
Bill collectors cannot repeatedly call consumers, as well as contact consumers at work when they have “reason to know” such phone calls are banned by employers. All you have to do is invoke the FDCPA provision that explains to a debt collection agency your employer prohibits third party debt collector calls in the workplace.
The FDCPA grants you the right to send a formal cease and desist letter to a bill collector. Debt collection agencies are not allowed to take money out of consumer band accounts, without first obtaining a court issued wage garnishment order.
Virginia has not enacted a separate set of FDCPA laws that strengthen the federal FDCPA. The state has FDCPA laws that offer consumers the same protections against abuse, harassment, and deception that are written into the federal FDCPA.
However, Virginia FDCPA laws include a provision that makes it illegal for bill collectors to send documents that appear to be part of a debt collection legal process. The documents can look like a summons to appear in court, which puts enough fear into consumers to take immediate action.
If you believe that a debt collector is violating Virginia’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.