The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which went into law over 30 years ago, protects consumers like you from the illegal and unfair debt collection practices of collection agencies. Are you being harassed by a debt collection agency and wondering if you may have a FDCPA claim? Below are some common illegal debt collection practices that violate the terms of the FDCPA. If you have experienced any of the following, you may have a legitimate FDCPA claim.
Harassing Telephone calls
Communication with my friends or relatives
Attempts to collect debts barred by the statute of limitation (very old debts)
Debts that are not mine
Debt Collectors Attempting to “Acquire Your Location Information”
How is the FDCPA enforced?
Using the powers contained in the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, the FTC has the authority over and can effectively enforce the FDCPA. Interestingly enough, however, there has recently been a US Treasury proposal stemming from new financial reforms and regulations which would place the administration of the FDCPA into the hands of a newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
Consumers who have been experiencing abusive and coercive debt collection practices like the ones mentioned above now have the right to file private lawsuits in both federal and state courts. These suits are typically filed in order to collect monetary damages from 3rd party collection agencies. Currently, a ceiling of $1,000 in damages is the maximum allowable award to the consumer who has been a victim of unfair collection practices.
What are my rights under the FDCPA?
If you are in a financial position that has hindered your ability to pay your bills on time and are currently being harassed by one or more collection agencies, there are certain rights that you have as a consumer as prescribed under the guidelines and laws of the FDCPA. The law usually applies to collection agencies (and not in-house collectors employed by the original creditor).
The following is a list of your rights under the FDCPA and as what you are allowed to do:
- avoid and/or reduce future fees for late payments
- be able to combine your current loan payments in order to clear up debts with creditors
- combine your current loans into a plan involving only one single monthly payment
- completely zero out or significantly reduce all of your interest charges
- rectify any errors on your credit report
- remove any invalid or time-lapsed notations on your credit report
Most importantly, you are entitled to have peace of mind, and sometimes the only way that you can be afforded that is if you seek out the assistance of an experienced and qualified FDCPA attorney who is skilled at going after collection agencies that do not operate ethically. If you should have any questions, need help with your current circumstances, and feel that your rights as a consumer have been violated under the guidelines of the FDCPA, please contact us by filling out the Free Claim Review form found on this website.
For over 25 years, Jonathan Ginsberg has represented honest, hardworking men and women facing financial troubles.
Latest posts by Jonathan Ginsberg (see all)
- Comedian John Oliver Exposes the Debt Buying Industry - June 10, 2016
- Debt Collectors in Indonesia Mean Business - August 17, 2011
- Collection Attorney Fred Hanna Successfully Defends an FDCPA Claim in Court - January 24, 2011