In addition to the protections of the FDCPA, Michigan has passed several state debt collection laws which provide substantial additional protections to consumers. Most significantly, Michigan law extends protection to harassing or abusive collection practices by original creditors and lenders, as well as debt collection agencies.
Under Michigan law, collectors and creditors cannot use misleading or deceptive practices, pretend that they are law enforcement or that judicial action has been taken, hide their identity, reveal the debt to a third party, or make threats of violence. They also cannot use obscene or profane language, harass the debtor, or engage in many other enumerated unfair practices.
The remedies available under Michigan law are less than those available under federal law. Although the FDCPA allows for statutory damages up to $1,000, state law provides statutory damages of only $50, or $150 if the violation is willful. Like federal law, however, Michigan law allows victims to recover attorneys’ fees and costs – and victims may recover under both the federal and state laws.
If you believe that a collector has behaved inappropriately while attempting to collect a debt from you in Michigan, our attorneys can help you to determine whether the FDCPA or Michigan law provides you with a legal remedy.
To learn more about the FDPCA, go to Federal Debt Collection Practices Act.
Article 9 of the Occupation Code, MCL 339.901 et seq., and The Collection Practices Act, MCL 445.251 et seq.