Consumer Protection from Collections Harassment
FDCPA YOU MAY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SUE YOUR DEBT COLLECTORS FOR $1,000 OR MORE The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you. Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is someone who regularly collects debts owed to others. This includes collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis, and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them. You have the right to sue a collector within one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, the judge can require the debt collector to pay you up to $1,000, for violating the FDCPA. In addition, the judge can require the collector to pay you for any damages you can prove you suffered because of the illegal collection practices, like lost wages and medical bills. You also can be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees and court costs. Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen can take your case on contingency, meaning we only get paid if you win. Below are some questions to determine whether you have a claim under the FDCPA.
Contacting your Relatives or your Workplace
- Did the collector contact a relative or your workplace (Third Party) and fail to identify themselves, or fail to state that collector is confirming or correcting location information?
- Did the collector contact a Third Party and tell them that you owe a debt?
- Did the collector contact the same Third Party more than once?
- Did the collector contact send a postcard or a letter regarding your debt to a Third Party?
- Did the collector contact a Third Party by mail and did it show any language or symbol indicating debt collection business?
- Did the collector contact a Third Party after knowing that you are represented by an attorney?
Prohibited Communications Practices
- Did the collector contact you at any unusual time, unusual place, or unusual time or place known to be inconvenient to you, before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm?
- Did the collector contact you after you told them you were represented by an attorney?
- Did the collector discuss your debt with anyone besides you, your attorney, or a credit bureau?
- Did the collector contact you after written notification that you refuse to pay debt, or that you want the collector to cease communication?
Harassment or Abuse
- Has the collector caused the phone to ring repeatedly or engaged any person in telephone conversations repeatedly?
- Has the collector used any conduct to harass, oppress, or abuse you or any other person?
- Has the collector used or threatened the use of violence or other criminal means to harm you or your property?
- Has the collector used profane language or other abusive language?
- Has the collector placed telephone calls without disclosing his/her identity?
False or Misleading Representations in Communications
- Has the collector used any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the debt collection?
- Has the collector used stated that he/she is affiliated with the United States or any state, including the use of any badge, uniform or facsimile?
- Has the collector misrepresented the character, amount, or legal status of the alleged debt?
- Has the collector stated that he/ she is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney?
- Has the collector stated that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment?
- Has the collector threatened to take any action?
- Has the collector stated that you have committed a crime or other conduct in order to disgrace you?
- Has the collector stated threatened or communicated false credit information, including the failure to communicate that a debt is disputed?
- Has the collector stated that any documents as authorized, issued or approved by any court, official, or agency of the United States or state?
- Has the collector communicated with you by mail or by phone and failed to state: “This is an attempt to collect a debt… communication is from a debt collector”?
- Has the collector stated that the debt has been sold for value?
- Has the collector stated that documents are a lawsuit when they are not?
- Has the collector used any name other than the true name of the debt collector’s business?
- Has the collector stated that he/she is employed by a consumer reporting agency?
- Has the collector accepted or solicited a post-dated check for purpose of threatening criminal prosecution?
- Has the collector deposited or threatened to deposit a post-dated check prior to actual date on the check?
- Has the collector caused any charges to be made to you, for example, collect telephone calls?
- Has the collector taken or threatened to unlawfully repossess your property?
- Has the collector brought any legal action in a location other than where the credit contract was signed or where you live?
If any of the above apply to you, you have the right to sue under the FDCPA. If you win, you can be rewarded up to $1,000, or more if you suffered actual damages (stress, illness, marriage difficulties, etc.). You also can be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees and court costs. Call us today to learn more.
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