Posted: 10/15/2011 12:36:16 AM
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has a set of rules that determine what can be termed as harassment by the debt collector. Harassment can be either written or verbal. Calling you repeatedly at home or work place is a form of harassment. Harassing in any form is considered a severe violation of the FDCPA.
According to the FDCPA the following are considered violations of the Act by the debt collector:
- Harassing by calling repeatedly
- Threatening to use violence
- Using obscene or abusive language
- Calling at work place
- Calling after you request him not to call
- Calling but not giving name
- Sending notices that look like court notices
- Publishing a list of consumers who have not paid
- Trying to extract payment over phone
- Giving false identity of being an attorney
A debt collector can call you if there is a genuine debt to recover. But debt collectors are often over- enthusiastic and may end up placing too many calls or end up using tough language. This is considered to be harassment. The FDCPA punishes harassment by debt collectors. The Act gives out specific guidelines on what is considered unlawful behavior. These guidelines protect consumer rights.
If debt collectors obey the rules of the book the emotional stress faced by the debtors can be avoided. In the absence of this understanding there is a possibility of the consumer falling into the emotional trap.
You can avoid the harassment by following these simple rules:
- Stay calm during the call
- Do not enter into argument
- Do not use foul language
- Do not give away your bank details
- Ask for debt validation
- Send a cease and desist letter
- Dispute the debt
If the debt collector has harassed you and violated your rights, you can sue him. You may engage an FDCPA attorney who will take care of the legal aspects.
Posted: 10/14/2011 11:43:02 PM
According to Section 813 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collector can be sued for damages per the FDCPA for using illegal or unethical collection tactics. Section 813 deals with suing debt collectors for violating the fair debt act.
The FDCPA is a federal Act that came into existence following the numerous complaints about the nefarious collection tactics of third party debt collectors. The NCO Financial Systems is one such debt collection agency known for its abominable and ruthless debt collection tactics.
The NCO has been in news for harassment cases many times. The NCO is a third part debt collection agency that buys debts from cell phone companies, hospitals and the government for a throw away price and attempts to collect on them. Often you may even have paid the bill that these people are attempting to collect but that does not deter them. They are bent on thrusting a debt on you which is so old that you have no obligation to pay it. The NCO Financial scams are so many that we can read news about them stooping low to harass neighbors, relatives, previous occupants of your address, co-workers, etc. to collect the payments.
The NCO Financial scams are not limited to violations of the FDCPA alone. The NCO has paid millions of dollars to settle the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other consumer acts. The NCO Financial scams are not related just to the violations of federal laws but to the state legislation violations too.
Section 813 A explains how civil liability can be imposed in three situations that the NCO are known to commit: actual damages, discretionary penalties and costs and attorney's fees. Any NCO debt collector who fails to follow as provided in this section, he is liable to debtor, an amount of one thousand dollars per violation. If an NCO debt collector has been found to have harassed a debtor, the court may award the defendant attorney's fees reasonable in relation to the work expended and costs.
The NCO Financial Systems has violated the FDCPA countless times. In 2004, the NCO was penalized with 1.5 million dollars fine by the FTC for reporting inaccurate information to the credit bureaus. The NCO has been repeatedly taken to book for violating consumer laws and has been penalized by court of law.
Debt collection agencies like the NCO train debt collectors who are paid a commission on collecting a debt. Their salaries are normally very low and are dependent on their collections. This drives them to behave in an unethical way to gain money. In the bargain they do not spare the innocent consumers. The FDCPA is applicable to debt collectors as it is to collection agencies. Therefore, debt collectors become liable like their employers.
Posted: 9/19/2013 2:36:46 AM
When consumers fall behind on their payments, it can be
expected that they will start to receive collection calls, regardless of the
size of the debt. These calls can make a
consumer’s life miserable. For this reason,
the law has imposed certain restrictions on what a debt collector can and
cannot do under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA was enacted
to stop abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collectors from harassing
consumers. The penalties for noncompliance
by a debt collector are steep and aggressively enforced. If you or a loved one has been subjected to
an aggressive debt collector, make sure to contact one of our trained and
experienced attorneys today to protect your rights.
This is particularly important because debt collectors may
employ trickery to extend the life of the debt.
If consumers are not careful, they could be persuaded to agree to do
something that is not to their benefit and as a result, make their situation
worse. Therefore it is important to know
the right way to talk to and deal with debt collectors.
While you should also contact one of our experienced
attorneys when dealing with a debt collector, here are some basic tips that
you can employ:
When dealing with collection calls, consumers need to have
the right attitude. Consumers need to
understand that even though there may have been factors that contributed to the
debt, the debt is still under the consumer’s name. The only time a consumer is not responsible
for paying off the debt is if they are a victim of identity theft.
When debt collectors call, here are some suggestions on how
to deal with them:
Polite: Debt collectors are determined to get consumers to pay what they
owe. As a result they can be very
rude. Despite this, consumers should
still be polite then they start the conversation. Some debt collectors will respond with the
same courtesy that is shown to them.
They may even become cooperative in helping the consumer pay of their
Patient: The longer a consumer can drag out the debt collection the better
it will be for them. The debt collector
will become more desperate to get money from the consumer. Additionally, once the debt is past the
statute of limitation the debt collector cannot take the consumer to court to
sue for a particular debt.
Consistent: When a consumer is not able to pay their debts because of a
financial crisis or illness, be sure to stick to story. It is not necessary to embellish the story.
- Be on
Guard: Consumers need to be on guard and check if the debt collector is who
they say they are. They should details
and make sure to take note of who is calling, the company the debt collector is
working with, and the original creditor of the debt. Consumers should also have the debt collector
verify that the debt is really theirs.
Additionally, consumers should call the creditor as well to ensure that
the debt collector has the right to collect on the debt.
Prepared: There are ways for consumers to prepare themselves for collection
calls. These calls should not be taken
lightly. Being prepared will help
consumers from being too intimidated by what the debt collectors say.
Preparing for Debt
- Know your
rights as a consumer: As soon as a consumer is not able to afford making their
payments, they should know what the FDCPA
has to say. This law tells consumers how
debt collectors can and cannot collect from them. The FDCPA will help consumers determine when
debt collectors are bluffing or violating the act.
- Know your
debts: Some debt collection agencies buy out old debts from creditors. In order for consumers to avoid being tricked
into paying something they should not, consumers need to know their debts. Consumers need to identify debts that are
past the statute of limitations or if debt collectors are harassing them for
debts that the consumer did not make in the first place.
- Know your
debt relief plan: Consumers should start considering a debt relief plan, no
matter how difficult their financial situation is.
A consumer’s knowledge of the whole situation and their
rights will help them deal with abusive debt collectors. We
drafted an extensive overview
of the FDCPA and relevant provisions.
Please print this out and use it as a guideline if you, a loved one, a
friend, or a colleague is dealing with a debt collector. These are provisions that typically apply in
If you believe that you, a loved one, a friend, or an
acquaintance has otherwise been subjected to a debt collector who has violated
these laws, please contact us today and speak with one of our qualified FDCPA
attorneys. We have been successfully representing those abused and taken
advantage of by debt collectors for years, and have a long list of
successful stories to share with you. We offer a FREE
CASE REVIEW for you to assess whether we can assist you with your matter.
Please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-800-875-3666 if you prefer
to talk to a trained professional over the phone instead, or of course, visit
our website at http://www.krohnandmoss.com/.
Posted: 10/14/2011 11:53:07 PM
Three very important steps to stopping of debt collection are identifying whether you owe a debt or not, reviewing your rights and taking action of your rights have been violated.
The Fair debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was established by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ensure fair debt collection practices. The FDCPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and private attorneys governs fair debt collection methods. Any violation of the FDCPA can attract a compensation of $1000 per violation.
The following are the FDCPA Violations by debt collectors:
Are you a victim of debt collection calls? First find out if the debt collection company has been calling you by mistake. Even if it is calling by mistake or calling to ask for a relative or a friend, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you from any type of harassment from debt collectors. If a debt collector calls you repeatedly and despite your repeated requests, continues to call, the FDCPA rights protect you.
- Calling you repeatedly at inconvenient times
- Threatening you with serious consequences
- Using abusive language
- Calling your place of work
- Not validating debt
- Demanding more than you owe
- Not disclosing identity
- Contacting third parties about your debt
- Contacting you even after you are represented by attorney
- Harassing you even after receiving cease and desist letter from you
Under the FDCPA rights, you may
Take action if the debt collector has not
- Not take a call from a debt collector
- Hang up on a debt collector
- Inform a debt collector not to call
- Send a letter to a debt collector not to call
- Fix a convenient time to call you
- Not allow debt collector to call you at odd times
- Ask debt collector to validate the debt in writing
- Instruct debt collector not to call at work place
- Send a cease and desist letter to debt collectors to stop further communication
- Engage an attorney for further communication and legal action
- Record the calls from debt collectors (if it is allowed in the state you reside in)
- Sent you a written notification of the amount of debt and the name of the creditor within five working days of the call
- Send you Mini Miranda warning
- Has not informed you of your right to dispute the debt within 30 days after you receive the notice, in the warning
- Disclosed in the first communication with you that he or she is attempting to collect a debt
- Informed you that any information obtained will be used for that purpose
- Included the above disclosure If the debt collector’s first communication with you is by phone
- Included the above disclosure in its first written communication with you as well
- Identified himself or herself in all subsequent communication with you