The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law enacted for the regulation of debt collectors and the protection of consumers. The FDCPA sets the ground rules for interactions between debt collectors and the parties from whom they are seeking a debt. The attorneys at GM Law Firm, LLC utilize the provisions of the FDCPA to ensure and enforce your rights.
THE FDCPA & YOUR RIGHTS
In general, collectors cannot be:
- Calling you repeatedly or contact you at an unreasonable time (the law presumes that before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. is unreasonable)
- Placing telephone calls to you without identifying themselves as bill collectors
- Contacting you at work if your employer prohibits it
- Using obscene or profane language
- Using or threaten to use violence
- Claiming you owe more than you do
- Claiming to be attorneys if they’re not
- Claiming that you’ll be imprisoned or your property will be seized
- Sending you a paper that resembles a legal document
- Adding unauthorized interest, fees, or charges
- Contacting third parties, other than your attorney, credit reporting bureaus, or the original creditor, except for the limited purpose of finding information about your whereabouts. Unless you have asked collectors in writing to stop contacting you, they can also contact your spouse, your parents (if you are a minor), and your co-debtors
Violations of the FDCPA do not go overlooked. In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought numerous lawsuits against collection agencies for violations, resulting in settlements for millions of dollars. While not all of these settlements went to consumers directly, they are further proof that the law will be enforced.
A simple Internet search can provide plenty of information for consumers about enforcing their rights. However, having an experienced attorney who has handled cases similar to yours will prevent potential blunders from misinformation or misdirection.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Being in debt is already a stressful and unsettling experience that is only exacerbated by the relentless phone calls of collection agencies. Telling the creditor you do not have the money will not make their calls stop, but the attorneys at GM Law Firm, LLC who understand the FDCPA law, can, will and do. Under the FDCPA, once a third-party collector knows you are represented by an attorney, their contact with you must cease. An attorney who understands the FDCPA law can take on all communications with your creditors so you no longer have to worry about answering your phone.
DECODE THE LAW
Thanks to the Internet, consumers have access to the FDCPA, but like many laws, those outside the legal profession easily misunderstand it. The attorneys at GM Law Firm, LLC are trained and experienced in interpreting and applying the law, and can help you understand how it applies to you.
Like all laws, the FDCPA has been further defined and redefined by court decisions. For example, the terms “consumers” and “debt collectors” have been further defined in recent cases. An FDCPA attorney will know the case history and how implications of court outcomes might affect your case.
The FDCPA is a federal law and each state is permitted to enact its own laws to provide consumers further protections. An FDCPA attorney can let you know how the laws of your particular state interact with the FDCPA.
GET THE INFORMATION YOU NEED
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are required to disclose certain information if you request it. You have the right to challenge your debt and have it validated by the collectors. An FDCPA attorney knows the most important information to request and how it can be used to your benefit.
ENFORCE YOUR RIGHTS
The FDCPA provides possible civil remedies for consumers who have had their rights violated under the act. FDCPA attorneys are well versed in the law and can recognize unfounded threats, punishments, or representations that are violation of the Act. If a violation of your rights has occurred, an attorney can either use that violation as leverage when negotiating your debt or alternatively, help you pursue legal recourse for the violation. It is important to keep in mind that an FDCPA violation by your collector does not eliminate your debt, but it may help in your negotiations.
If you would like to learn more about your rights or feel that your rights may have been violated, contact us and speak with one of the FDCPA lawyers at GM Law Firm today.