The Law is on Your Side

The Federal Trade Commission says that it receives more complaints about the debt collection industry than any other industry, and the number of complaints rises every year. There are strict laws that regulate debt collection, so why so many complaints? Without question, debt collectors know that consumers do not know what the rules are. For example, the FTC reports that calling consumers repeatedly and continuously is the most frequent violation reported. Debt collectors know it’s illegal to continuously call you. They also know, however, that most people don’t know that. Since it is a very effective way to collect money, they do it anyways. Many collectors have a “what are you going to do about it” attitude. If you don’t know your rights, you’re not going to do anything about it. You will just get pushed around. Many collectors give the impression that they hold all the cards. You’re going to do exactly what they say, and that’s all there is to it.

It’s all a facade, however. When you hire a lawyer who knows the federal consumer laws and has experience using them, everything changes. Their bluff is up. If they have violated the law, they have to pay you damages and they have to pay your lawyer.

Illegal Collection Practices
  • Calling repeatedly or continuously.

  • Calling before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm.

  • Use of profane, obscene or abusive language.

  • Calling at work when told to stop.

  • Speaking to family, co-workers, friends or neighbors about your debt.

  • Calling after you have notified the debt collector not to contact you again.

  • Using threats of violence or harm.

  • Falsely claiming that you can be arrested for not paying a debt.

  • Falsely claiming that you have committed a crime.

  • Falsely claiming to be attorneys or government representatives.

  • Falsely threatening to sue you when they don’t intend to do so.

  • Falsely threatening to seize your bank accounts or garnish your wages when they don’t have the authority to do so.

  • Trying to collect additional fees or charges that they don’t the right to.

  • Leaving a voice mail message that others can hear.

  • Collecting a debt where the statute of limitations has expired.”

Penalties for Violation
  • “Statutory Damages” (up to $1,000)

  • Actual damages

  • Attorneys’ Fees

  • “Punitive Damages”

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You don’t have to put up with illegal and abusive debt collection. There are powerful federal laws that get the abuse stopped and put money in your pocket at no cost to you.

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