In the case you are facing the problem of debt collector harassment, you should know that many people are struggling with the same thing. However, luckily for you that are some things that you can do in order to stop the creditor from the harassment you and in that way protect your rights. The first thing that you need to do on that path is learning your rights under the FDCPA which is a short-term for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
It applies to debt collectors who use interstate commerce to collect debts which includes collection agencies, debt buyers, as well as lawyers. Also, it applies to third-party creditors’ collection practices. This represents a federal law that is protecting consumers from some types of debt collection practices. So, in the case a debt collector violates this act, you have the right to take legal action against him. There is even a chance that you can recover damages. Continue reading this article to find out what you can do.
1. Things that Debt Collectors Are Not Allowed To Do
First of all, collectors are not allowed to use abusive tactics when they go to take a debt. Harassments or abusive acts include swearing, making threats of violence, or making repeated phone calls. Despite that, debt collectors do not have the right to make false claims or threaten to take actions that are not legal. In addition, they can not demand more money than you own them. This means that they can not add fees or interest to the debt they collect.
Debt collectors have no right to contact you as debtors through social media platforms or in any other public way. Also, they are not allowed to contact people at odd hours. In fact, the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from getting in touch with consumers at an inconvenient time. The time at which the debt collector can not contact you is before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. This means that there is absolutely no reason to answer their calls in the middle of the night and stress over it. Lastly, debt collectors can not contact you at work. If something like this happens, you have full rights to inform your employer about the problem.
2. Protections the FDCPA Provides
Luckily, the FDCPA is offering different types of protection when the person is being harassed or cheated by his debt collector. If debt collectors do things that they are not allowed to, they can face criminal prosecution.
3. A debt collector is Contacting You
In the case where a debt collection agency starts to contact you, you need to get familiar with your legal rights. As we said, it is highly important to remember that the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using unfair and illegal actions to collect their money. The first thing that you should know is that you contact a debt lawyer to discuss your rights if you are getting a feeling that your debt collector is violating the FDCPA. You can find here professional and experienced debt collection harassment attorneys that will help you in the process of stopping debt collector harassment towards you. If you think that you are a victim of debt collector harassment, you should contact an attorney immediately.
We wanted to tell you that it is significant to keep records of the communication with debt collectors and the messages that they send you. Records, where they are inhumanly treating you, are crucial for the lawsuit that you can file against them. The FDCPA will protect you from the harassing and abusive action of debt collectors. However, you should still have a plan of how you are going to pay your debt. For instance, you can make a repayment or file for bankruptcy.
4. Violations of Debt Collector
In the case that your debt collector is constantly calling you or writing you messages without allowing you to dispute the debt, you should know that they are violating the FDCPA. This presents illegal action. You can be entitled to up to $1,000 in damages by having the right lawyer by your side that will help defend your rights.
5. Debt Collector Harassment
Harassment of any kind as well as threatening calls is also an FDCPA violation. As we mentioned debt collectors are not allowed to call you or even write you at work. They also must respect any employer’s restrictions. The most important thing to remember is that a debt collector absolutely has no right to harass your coworkers or members of your family.
6. Interest, Charges, and Wage Garnishment of Debt Collector
Another type of FDCPA violation refers to adding interest or any other charges to the debt. Under this act, debt collectors absolutely have no legal right to add interest or fees to your debt obligation.
7. Debt Collector is Bypassing Your Attorney
It is very important to be aware of the fact that if a debt collector is informed that you are having an attorney that is representing your rights, then the debt collector must call only the attorney directly. This means that the debt collector does not have the right to call you and discuss the case and your obligation.
What to do If a Debt Collector is Violating the FDCPA
So, if you are experiencing any illegal activity from the debt collector and you believe that you are a victim of a debt collector that violates the FDCPA, you can sue them for damages. It is best to discuss with your lawyer all necessary information regarding filling up the lawsuit. The good news is that you do not have to prove actual damages to win the case.
Also, you can recover up to $1,000, plus your attorney’s fees. According to the FDCPA, debt creditors can not disclose information about your debts to other people unless they are licensed. As you see, you should not be scared if debt collecting is harassing you or your family members in any way because you have full rights to sue them and win the case.