In recent years, there has been a tremendous increase in California debt collector harassment complaints. In fact, from 2006 to 2010, California debt collector harassment complaints have risen by 194%. In 2010 alone, 10,914 lawsuits seeking relief under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) were filed by or on behalf of California consumers. Although the federal FDCPA protects California consumers, the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA)
is equipped with additional protections for California consumers when they are dealing with debt collectors.
It is thus no surprise that complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
based on the actions of abusive collectors have been on the increase. Common complaints include harassment by debt collectors who call consumers repeatedly, the use threatening or profane language by debt collectors, and debt collectors who threaten consumers with illegal actions if a consumer does not pay the money the debt collector demands.
In addition to protecting against the conduct described above, the federal FDCPA and California RFDCPA impose additional restrictions on debt collectors communicating about a consumer’s debt to his employer, family, or others. These laws also provide protection when a debt collector is attempting to collect on a debt already cleared through bankruptcy. Despite the protections of the law, California debt collectors are often very aggressive in attempting to collect on these wiped-out debts.
Moreover, the RFDCPA provides protection for consumers illegally served with a summons and complaints related to a debt. The California debt collector harassment laws provide that a debt collector cannot file a lawsuit against you in another state, county or location that is far from where you live, unless the concerned debt was incurred in that location.
When debt collectors violate these laws, both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and private attorneys can step in to protect Californians from debt collection harassment. While debt collectors are permitted to attempt to reach those who owe debts, the FDCPA and RFDCPA strictly prohibit harassment of any form. These laws restrict debt collectors' calls to limited hours or a prior agreed time. Calling during the night or at other inconvenient times is considered a violation of the RFDCPA. Debt collectors are also required to send all communications to consumers in sealed envelopes and not by postcards. Furthermore, when calling a consumer about a debt, the collector must disclose his name and reason for calling, and provide information about the amount owed, the name of the creditor, and the process the consumer can follow if he disputes the bill.
If you have been a victim of the above violations or more, a debt collection attorney can help you to stop the harassment and seek justice. The attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® have helped thousands of victims of California debt collector harassment to put a full stop to debt collector harassment