Battling Unfair Debt Collection and Harassment - ways to fight back
Are debt collectors harassing you?
Are you getting endless threatening phone calls? Are bill collectors calling your job? Are you getting calls in the middle of the night? Threats of jail? Garnishment? Lawsuits?
You are not alone! Debt collector harassment and abuse is a huge problem. Thankfully, Congress has passed specific laws to protect you.
Make the collectors pay YOU!
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Massachusetts Attorney General's Regulations are the laws that govern debt collections by specifying strict rules the collectors must follow. Unfortunately many collection agencies violate this law either out of ignorance, or because they bet on the consumer being unaware of the law or their rights. They hope that the consumer will give in and pay up. How about we turn the tables?
What can you get as compensation?
Ironically - money. The law punishes the debt collectors who violate the consumer protection laws, and the consumer gets to reap the benefits. While every case is different, in general the law provides:
- Up to $1,000 right into your pocket - these are statutory damages!
- A way to stop them from contacting you
- A way to see if the debt is real and the amount correct
- Money for any actual damages you incurred because of collector harassment
- Collectors pay your attorney fees
What Debt Collectors are NOT allowed to do
- Call you at home more than twice for each debt in any seven-day period, or more than twice for each debt in any 30-day period at some place other than your home, such as your place of work.
- Call you at work if you have requested that they not call. Your oral request that a collector not call you at work is valid for 10 days only. Written requests are valid until you write to the collector removing the restriction.
- Call you without identifying both the name of the creditor and the name of the person calling. The caller may use a name other than his or her own, but the creditor or collection agency on whose behalf the call is being made must be able to identify that person.
- Contact you directly, if you have told the creditor or collection agency you are represented by an attorney.
- Use profane or obscene language.
- Cause expense to you in the form of long distance calls, express mail charges, wire fees, or other similar charges.
- Falsely threaten to take legal action that the creditor does not take or reasonably intend to take.
- Tell anyone (including your friends, neighbors, relatives, or employers) about your debt, without your written consent.
- Mail to you any printed or written materials that reveal or imply that you owe a debt (for example, by using a postcard to contact you or using a descriptive return address).
- Solicit post-dated checks from you.
- Visit your home at times other than your normal waking hours. A collector may not visit you more than once in any 30-day period for each debt, unless you give permission for additional visits.
- Call you at times other than your normal waking hours. If your waking hours are unknown, then the collector may only call between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
- There are numerous other specific and technical prohibitions.
Let Attorney Lev analyze your case to see if you have been a victim of these tactics. Call (617) 556-9990 or email Attorney Lev today for a free case evaluation.