Do you believe your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act may have been violated? If so, we have a division of attorneys dedicated solely to collection harassment claims and the litigation of lawsuits that are based on consumer harassment. Our attorneys:
- Are experienced in litigation of debt collection harassment lawsuits
- Have a knowledge and passion for justice
- Will fight aggressively for your rights
Here are the top 10 debt collector violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA):
- Harassment, i.e. calling repeatedly or continuously, using obscene, profane, or abusive language, calling before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm, calling at times the collector knew or should know are inconvenient.
- Ask you to pay more than you owe or ask you to pay interest, fees, or expenses that are not allowed by law.
- Use or threaten to use violence if you don't pay the debt or threaten action they cannot or will not take.
- Contact you at work knowing your employer doesn't approve.
- Call a third party repeatedly to get your location information or illegally inform any 3rd party regarding your alleged debt.
- Fail to send a written debt verification and validation notice.
- Ignore your written request to verify the debt and continue to collect.
- Continue collection attempts after receiving a cease communication notice.
- No "Mini-Miranda"
- Contact after attorney representation
Still it has been estimated that the majority of debt collectors will violate the law at least once during their initial phone call and will continue to commit additional violations during the collections process.
Here is additional information about each of the top debt collector violations. The list below touches on just the top schemes used by debt collectors; however, there are many other ways that they can harass consumers.
1. Harassment - In addition to the harassing phone calls that are specifically spelled out in the FDCPA, there are other ways in which a debt collector can harass you. These include contacts via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. In addition, any rude conduct, belittling of you, misleading comments or lies, embarrassment and argumentative behavior can be considered harassment.
2. Collecting debts not owed - It is illegal for any financial institution or debt collection agency to collect even more than one cent beyond what is owed by you. This is not inclusive of simply the original debt, but also includes any fees such as attorney fees, excessive interest rates, penalties, late fees when the debtor is not late, or miscellaneous fees. One of the favorite tricks used by debt collectors is to attempt to make family members feel guilty so that they will pay for family debts that are not legally owed.Review My Case Now
3. Threats - Unless a debt collector is legally able to carry through with any statement, it is illegal for them to mention it. This includes stating that repossessions will occur, criminal prosecution for failure to repay, garnishment of wages, ruining credit, arrest, lawsuits and many other similar types of statements.
4. Calls at work - Unless you have specifically given the debt collector permission to call you at work, they are not permitted to do so. This type of behavior can have very serious consequences regarding your employment, which is why debt collectors will use this tactic. This includes any type of workplace call such as calling cell phones to leave a message during working hours, leaving messages with workplace receptionists, or calling the debtor directly.
5. Contacting 3rd Parties - Debt collectors are prohibited from contacting a third party more than once to inquire about your whereabouts. They also may not inform any third party about your debt, with the following exceptions:
- your attorney
- the creditor
- the creditor's attorney
- a credit reporting agency
- your spouse
- your parent (if you are a minor)
6. Written Notice - The law requires a debt collector to send a written notice to the debtor that includes the amount of the debt, the creditor, and a statement informing the debtor that they have 30 days to dispute the debt in writing. In a case where the debtor disputes the debt, the collection agency is required to provide a written verification of the debt amount and creditor to the debtor.
7. Proof of debts - In connection with point #6 above, debt collectors must provide verification and validation of a debt within 30 days if the debtor disputes the debt in any way. This must also include supporting documents and until this verification and validation is provided, the debt collector is prohibited by law from contacting the debtor or attempting to collect on the debt. It is critical that the debtor request this verification and validation in writing within 30 days of receiving the initial written notice.
8. Cease and Desist - When a cease and desist letter is sent to a collection agency or debt collector they are required by law to immediately stop any form of contact or communication with the debtor. The cease and desist letter should always be sent with a return receipt requested.
9. No "Mini-Miranda" - In the initial written notice to the debtor it is required that the debt collector state "This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information will be used for that purpose." They must also identify themselves and their agency during any subsequent communications. Failing to provide this information is a violation of the FDCPA.
10. Contact after attorney representation - Once a debtor informs the collection agency that they have secured legal representation, all communication with the debtor must cease.Review My Case Now
If you believe that a debt collector or agency has harassed you, contact our attorneys immediately for a no fee consultation. We can stop illegal harassment by debt collectors.
Our attorneys are experienced in the litigation of debt collection harassment lawsuits and their knowledge and passion for justice will serve you well if you have been the victim of collection harassment.