In the late 1970s, the federal government enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in order to give consumers greater protections against abusive debt collection practices; to eliminate harassment within the debt collection industry. The FDCPA also sought to encourage the fair collection of debts. Lastly, the Act provided a means by which debtors may dispute and validate the debt claimed against them by the debt collector and or original creditor.
More specifically, the FDCPA allows consumers to hire an experienced FDCPA attorney to sue the debt collector when collection attempts have been marred by harassment.
This type of lawsuit seeks to accomplish two main goals:
Once the debtor informs the debt collector that an attorney has been engaged and the collector knows the contact information of that attorney, collection attempts directly with the debtor must cease; the debt collector should work through the attorney.
In terms of compensation, what can the consumer recover in an FDCPA lawsuit? Any and all losses the debtor has incurred as a direct result of the illegal collection attempts can be compensated for. This means that if the debtor was diagnosed with high blood pressure; had a heart attack or stroke; or any other medical condition and those conditions were caused by the illegal collection attempts, the offending parties can be made to pay damages to the debtor for medical expenses and the like. Learn more about how to protect your rights by visiting out page available here.
Depending on the circumstances, the victim may even be able to be compensated for medical treatment needed to correct emotional harm caused by the illegal collection attempts.
What if the debtor was harassed at work and was fired as a result? The offending parties can be made to pay lost wages.
While compensation for these types of losses require the victim to prove injury and to connect the illegal act and the victim’s harm, the FDCPA also allows the debtor to collect damages without a showing that harm was suffered.
Compensation is not unlimited; the FDCPA will allow debtors to collect a maximum of $1,000 in an individual suit. Class action illegal debt collection law suits are a bit different; in this type of litigation, the maximum amount of compensation is $500,000 or one percent of the offending party’s net worth. Whichever is less will be what the debtor can receive. Even people other than the debtor can collect compensation from the defendant if they too were harmed by the illegal acts committed against the debtor.
In regard to paying an attorney for help, the law can compel the debt collector to pay for the debtor’s legal fees. For more information, visit www.westopdebtcollectors.com to learn how to protect your rights.