The phone calls never stop. A third party debt collector calls you at all times of the day, even during the middle of the night. Before passage of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) of 1977, consumers had no legal recourse to stop harassing phone calls made by debt collectors.
However, the FDCPA includes a couple of statutes that either limit when a debt collector can call you or prevent harassment by giving you the right to send a cease and desist letter to end the phone calls.
How the FDCPA Helps Consumers End Debt Collection Harassment
Debt collectors do not care if you and your family are enjoying dinner or are snoozing away the night. They will call you at all hours unless you restrict their illegal behavior.
The FDCPA limits the times a debt collector can call you. The 13-hour window for third party debt collectors runs from 8 AM until 9 PM. Any phone calls made by a debt collector before and after the designated can call time span are considered violations of the FDCPA.
However, you can end nightmare debt collector phone calls by sending a cease and desist letter.
How an Attorney Can Help You
You are within your legal rights to send a cease and desist letter to a debt collector that you wrote yourself. We recommend working with a licensed consumer protection attorney who knows exactly how to word the letter to convey the strongest legal message.
An accomplished attorney will ensure the letter holds up in court by forcing the debt collector to refrain from making further contact.
The debt collector cease and desist letter must include language that mentions the original creditor and the amount owed for the outstanding debt. Your attorney will remind the debt collector the agency has to comply with the cease desist letter.
Moreover, the letter will remind the debt collector the agency can only respond to the letter by confirming reception of the letter or stating intent to collect the debt by filing a lawsuit. Your attorney will also clearly state the ramifications of not abiding by the cease and desist letter.
If a debt collector violates any provision of the FDCPA, you might be eligible to receive compensation for statutory and/or actual damages.
Possible Damages in a FDCPA Case
The FDCPA offers consumers two options for collecting monetary damages. Statutory damages, which cannot exceed $1,000, are handed down to punish debt collectors for violating one or more provisions of the FDCPA.
Actual damages have no limit and cover both physical and emotional distress. For example, an ulcer brought on by a debt collector attempting to garnish wages can be considered part of the actual damages awarded in a FDCPA case.
Hiring an experienced consumer protection attorney ensures you receive the compensation you deserve for violations of the FDCPA. Do not allow a debt collector to bully you. Complete the free evaluation to speak with a licensed consumer protection law attorney.