The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Know Your Debt Collection Rights

Struggling with debt is demoralizing, and it’s easy to forget that you have rights. Bad debt collectors count on that. But, you don’t have to put up with debt collection abuses. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and statutes in some states protect you–even if you are behind on your payments. If you’re being harassed or abused by debt collectors or think they may be misleading you, learn more about your rights.

Your Rights Under the FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits collection agencies, debt buyers, and other third-party collectors from a wide range of dishonest and abusive practices, including:
• Misleading the consumer about the legal status of a debt
• Misrepresenting themselves as being law enforcement officers, attorneys, or court personnel
• Threatening any type of illegal action
• Calling the consumer over and over again for the purpose of harassment
• Calling the consumer at work knowing the employer objects
• Calling friends or family for any purpose other than seeking contact information
• Using profanity or obscene language
• Continuing to call or send letters after the consumer has told them in writing to stop
• Threatening action they can’t legally take
• Sending documents designed to give the false appearance that they are legal documents
These are just some of the most common examples of ways debt collectors may violate the FDCPA. The statute also imposes some duties on the debt collector, such as notifying you of your right to dispute the debt. The best source of information about whether your rights have been violated is to talk with an experienced Fair Debt Collection Practices attorney.

Original Creditor Abuse and Harassment

The FDCPA only applies to third-party collectors like collection agencies and debt buyers. However, some states have similar laws that also apply to original creditors.

Fight Back against Dishonest or Abusive Debt Collectors

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects your rights. If you’re having trouble resolving credit reporting issues, find out how we can help. At Resolve Law Group, we help consumers around the country fight back when debt collectors break the law. Stop the stress now–learn more about your options.

Money Damages in an FDCPA Case

If you’ve suffered actual damages due to the debt collector’s illegal actions, you may be entitled to compensation. Even if you haven’t, you may be entitled to a small amount of financial compensation for the collector’s bad behavior. Your FDCPA lawyer can explain in greater detail what damages may be available in your case.

Attorney Fees in FDCPA Cases

Congress didn’t want money to be an obstacle to enforcing your rights under the FDCPA. The statute includes a provision that allows the court to shift fees to a debt collector who violates the law. That means a debt collector who breaks the law may be ordered to pay your lawyer for you.

Talk to an Experienced FDCPA Attorney

Resolve Law Group helps people whose FDCPA rights have been violated. If you’re being harassed by a debt collector or believe the debt collector has lied to you about the status of your debt, threatened illegal action, or otherwise violated the law, your next step should be to learn more about your rights.
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Fair Debt Collection Practices Act FAQs

Who is a debt collector?
Under the FDCPA, only third party collectors such as collection agencies and debt buyers are considered debt collectors. The law does not apply to original creditors, though some state laws do. A law firm collecting a debt on behalf of a client may or may not be considered a debt collector under the FDCPA, depending on specifics.
What if I receive a collection notice for a debt that’s not mine?
Under the FDCPA, a debt collector or debt buyer is required to notify you of your right to dispute the debt. If you believe a debt is not yours, or that the amount, date, or other important information is incorrect, dispute the debt in writing within 30 days. After 30 days have passed, you can still dispute the debt, but will lose some legal protections.
What should I do if a debt collector is abusive or dishonest?
The FDCPA is nuanced and it may be difficult for you to know whether your rights have been violated–especially if the debt collector has confused you with misrepresentations. A quick consultation with an FDCPA lawyer can help you understand your rights and your options for fighting back.

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