The growing pressure by American consumers to regulate third party debt collectors reached a fever pitch during the 1970s. In response to the calls for debt collection reforms, the United States Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1977.
Although the FDCPA does not forbid third party debt collectors from collecting money owed to original creditors, the landmark law clearly prevents debt collectors from using certain tactics to collect debts.
Is Notifying a Third Party a Violation of the FDCPA?
Since trying to collect a debt does not violate the FDCPA, a debt collector that contacts a third party regarding your debt is a violation of the FDCPA.
Some debt collectors resort to deceptive collection efforts by disguising their roles as third party debt collectors. The FDCPA clearly prohibits the use of deceptive debt collection practices.
If a third party debt collector disguises his or her identify, you should contact an attorney who specializes in consumer protection law.
When to Hire an Attorney
Let’s assume a third party debt collector calls you and identifies herself as a representative of the original creditor. You contact the original creditor a few days later and discover the original creditor has stopped trying to contact you.
Who was the person on the other end of the phone who tried to collect a debt? It does not matter who the persona was, but instead, it matters the person used deception to try to collect a debt.
The FDCPA makes deceptive debt collection practices illegal, which means the time has come to hire an attorney to protect the legal rights granted under the FDCPA.
You should also hire an attorney when a third part debt collector abuses or threatens you in an attempt to collect a debt for the original creditor. A third party debt collector might violate all three prohibited behaviors listed in the FDCPA.
For example, a third party debt collector can disguise identity by using bad language to threaten you.
You Might Be Eligible for Damages
Hiring a consumer protection attorney accomplishes much more than simply getting an unscrupulous debt collector to stop harassing you. Under the FDCPA, you also have the legal right to seek statutory and actual damages for one or more violations of the consumer protection law.
Congress placed a $1,000 cap on the amount of statutory damages available to consumers. However, Congress did not cap the amount of money consumers can receive for actual damages.
Money for actual damages includes physical and emotional harm caused by constant abuse and threats, as well as using deceptive practices to collect a debt. The physical toll of an attempted debt collection by a third party can be the result of building stress that leads to an ulcer or other type of physical illness.
An attorney who litigates FDCPA can help you seek justice against a third party debt collector that abuses or threatens you. Complete the contact form today to speak with an attorney.