Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Under the FDCPA
, a debt collector is a third party individual or entity who seeks to collect debts owned by you to another person. Generally, this means that the original creditor who gave you the money is not considered a debt collector under the FDCPA. But any other person or entity not the original creditor will be a debt collector.
If you or a loved one are being harassed by a debt collector, you should contact an experienced debt collector harassment attorney
to learn how to protect your rights. You should send the debt collector a written request asking them to stop. You can also report on debt collection harassment
to the Federal Trade Commission and your state’s attorney general.
There is no bright line rule to how many telephone calls per day are considered debt collector harassment
. This determination is on a case-by-case basis. Courts have found violations where the consumer hung up on the debt collector and the debt collector immediately called right back; so only two calls. Other courts have found violations where multiple telephone calls were in a short window of time—like an hour. Other courts have held that six calls within one day was a violation. If you told the debt collector in writing to stop contacting you, any call after that may be a violation as well.
The best way to stop bill collectors from calling is to tell them in writing. The FDCPA prohibits any contact by a bill collector after a written request by a consumer. You may do this by regular mail (best to have it certified mail), by e-mail (request a read receipt), or by fax. Make sure to keep a copy of your correspondence and any confirmations that the bill collector received it.
When a debt collector is harassing you over the telephone, you should get the name of the agency
, the caller, a contact address and phone number, and inform them to stop calling and that you will be sending a written request for them to stop calling. If the debt collector continues to call, contact an experienced debt collector harassment attorney. You may also file claims with the Federal Trade Commission and your state’s attorney general.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
is a federal Act which establishes a series of laws to help protect the rights of consumers and debtors. This Act prohibits abusive, deceptive, and aggressive debt collection practices. The FDCPA also provides consumers and debtors with certain rights, including rights how to stop debt collectors, validate their debts, and get attorneys’ fees paid for.
The FDCPA provides many examples of what a debt collector cannot do because it is considered harassment. Some examples include using abusive or obscene language in an effort to collect a debt. Or calling consumers earlier than 8 AM in the morning or after 9 PM. Using a fake name or refusing to tell the consumer what debt collection company the caller is associated with. Threatening legal action, calling the police, or that the consumer will be arrested is also a violation. There are many other forms of debt collector harassment, and you should also consult an experienced abusive debt collector attorney
to protect your rights.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
is a federal Act establishing a series of law which prohibit the use of automated dialing equipment and prerecorded messages (Robocalls). The TCPA also prohibits debt collectors from contacting consumers by faxes or text messages
. It further allows for damages of $500 per violation, which triples to $1500 if the violation was willful or intention.
Debt collectors may contact you by written correspondence in the mail or call you over the telephone. A debt collector may also contact you in a manner which you agree to, such as telling a debt collector it is okay to send a fax with the information or call you at work.
An experienced debt collector harassment attorney
can inform you of what your legal rights are and how to protect them. Your attorney will also review all of the attempts made by the debt collector and advise you whether these are violations of any state or federal laws
. If there are violations of the FDCPA, your experienced attorney can get your debt lowered or erased, blemishes on your credit report restored, get attorneys’ fees, and even recover compensation for you due to the abusive debt collector’s illegal conduct.
Nothing. The FDCPA provides consumers and debtors with certain rights to protect against abusive and aggressive debt collectors. This includes attorneys’ fees in successful cases where violations by debt collectors are proven. Our attorneys will not charge you if we do not win your case either. We also offer free consultations to determine whether you have a case.
Yes! When a debt collector continues to aggressively and repetitively call you, tell them to stop calling and that you will be following up with a written request. Also get their contact information such as mailing address, fax number, and e-mail. Send your written request and keep proof of sending or receipt—such as certified mail, requesting an e-mail read receipt, and keeping the fax confirmation sheet. If a debt collector continues to call you after a written request, contact us
Debt collectors are required to be able to tell you the original source or creditor (such as the vendor), the amount of the debt, and how you can dispute the debt or seek verification of the debt. The debt collector must also be able to tell you where they are calling from, who they are, and their contact information.
Debt collectors cannot threaten violence of harm to you, use abusive or profane language, contact your repeatedly, intentionally harass or embarrass an individual about his or her debt, publish a list of people who refuse to pay their debts, lie about being an attorney when he or she is not, threaten to call the police on you or have you locked up, threaten legal action against you when none are available, misrepresent the character or amount of the debt owed, force you to sign anything, or do many other abusive, deceptive, or aggressive acts to collect a debt. If you are unsure, contact an experienced debt collection harassment attorney today to learn your rights.
Contact us immediately and keep records of every act that you believe is a violation of state or federal law
. You may also file a claim with the Federal Trade Commission or contact your state’s attorney general. However, your first action should be to gather all of the evidence you have and contact an attorney who will guide you through the process.
Yes, debt collectors must follow state and federal law
which prohibit certain types of conduct. When a debt collector harassment violates the law, a consumer or debtor is given certain rights by state and federal law to help protect them. Under the FDCPA, a consumer or debtor is even given attorneys’ fees if he or she is successful against a debt collector. Therefore, it is generally free of cost for a victim of debt collector harassment to contact and retain an experienced attorney
If a debt collector continues to call and harass you over a debt, send a written request to the debt collector to stop immediately. If the abusive debt collector continues to call you, contact an experienced debt collection harassment attorney
to learn about your rights and how to protect them. Under federal law, you are entitled to tell a debt collector to stop contacting you and the debt collector is required to listen to your request or face the penalties under law.
Yes, if a debt collector has violated your rights you are entitled to bring legal action. The FDCPA provides for free legal services by requiring the violating debt collector to pay your attorneys’ fees if you win. The TCPA also provides statutory damages of $500 per violation, with the amount tripling if you can proof the violations were intentional. An experienced abusive debt collection harassment attorney
can get your debt lowered or erased, clear your negative credit report, and recover compensation for the harassment you endured.
If an abusive debt collector violates the TCPA
, the victim is entitled to statutory damages provides by the TCPA. This includes at $500 award if the victim can prove the debt collector violated the TCPA. If the victim can prove that the debt collector intentionally violated the TCPA, then the victim can get triple damages of up to $1,500 per violation.
Robocalls are prerecorded or artificial voice messages and automated telephone calls used to collect a debt. With robocalls, there is not another live human being on the other end of the line. Under the TCPA, these calls are prohibited in almost all circumstances and debt collectors are violating state and federal law
if they use these prerecorded and automated telephone calls to harass consumers or debtors.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects your privacy relating to your credit reports. It generally prohibits third parties from checking your credit report—this includes debt collectors. However, there is an exception which debt collectors can use which is if a business as a legitimate need to access your credit report. In addition, if the debt arises from a contract like a loan, the contract usually requires you to consent that others can access your credit report. It is best to contact an experienced debt collection harassment attorney to ensure the debt collector is complying with the law and not violating your rights.
Yes, they are now. Originally no, attorneys were not debt collectors under the FDCPA. However in 1986, the FDCPA was amended which expanded the definition of debt collectors to attorneys in certain instances. This includes where an attorney attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, the debt a consumer or debtor owes to another party—the creditor. In these cases, the attorney is carrying out the same function as a debt collector.