How a Debt Collection Agency May Violate Consumer Rights
The biggest motivator of debt collection agencies is to make as much money as possible. The pressure to make the big bucks may influence an agency to utilize quite persistent tactics in order to get payments from those who owe them money. A consumer who is receiving phone calls several times a day from a debt collection agency may have tried everything they can to get these calls to halt. However, an agency may not stop until legal intervention has been sought. Despite consumers being protected under the Fair Debt Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collection agency may use forceful, aggressive, and even threatening tactics to scare them into making a payment.
What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?
The FDCPA helps protect consumers and lists rules about how a person can be contacted regarding a debt owed. A debt collection agency may or may not realize they are breaking a rule under the FDCPA. Additionally, a consumer may not know there could be monetary penalties for an agency committing such violations. An agency may not reconsider their tactics until they have to pay a consumer compensation for every illegal form of contact.
How may a debt collection agency be violating my rights as a consumer?
It is possible that the strategies a debt collection agency uses are actually in violation of consumer’s rights. Some state and federal laws have been established to help protect consumers in debt from suffering constant and threatening treatment from a debt collection agency. An attorney, can provide more insight into what a consumer is and is not safeguarded from depending on which state you live in. Examples of actions that may be deemed unlawful are:
- Tricking the consumer into thinking more is owed than in actuality
- Making calls at certain times of the day to intentionally be disruptive (early morning, around dinner time, or very late evening)
- Using threatening language when communicating with the consumer
- Contacting the consumer’s place of work for payments
- Not abiding by an official cease to communicate notice
- Threatening to take action of some sort if the consumer does not submit a payment quickly
What happens if I file a lawsuit against the debt collection company?
A consumer who decides to take legal action against a debt collection agency may be able to receive restitution. If the agency broke any laws in their communication tactics, the consumer may be compensated for every call, message, or letter sent. Many consumers may be unsure if they have grounds for a lawsuit, especially if they really do owe as much as the debt collection agency claims.
What kind of compensation may a consumer be entitled to?
Under the FDCPA, a consumer may be able to receive monetary remedies for emotional, physical and financial distress as a result of the harassment. It can be difficult to battle a debt collection agency without legal help, so it is generally advisable for a consumer to consult with an attorney about how to proceed.