What Happens if a Debt Collector Violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

iStock_000017145912XSmallLuckily, the law is on your side and you are protected from unfair treatment when debt collectors overstep. Each state has its own laws, in addition to the Federal laws which fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA). The specifics of what applies and what does must be discussed with an attorney familiar with the Federal and state laws regarding bill collection. If you have an attorney access your claim, here are a few things you should know:

Timing

If you think you have a case, it’s important to act quickly. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you have one year from the date the law was broken to sue the bill collector in a state or federal court.

Bill collectors may have to pay you

If a bill collector is proved to have violated the FDCPA, then a consumer may claim up to $1,000 in statutory damages, in addition to reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.

The debt doesn’t go away

Keep in mind that even if you succeed with a claim, and if you do owe money to the creditor, that obligation doesn’t go away. In other words, you will still need to take care of your obligation.

These are three of the most important things to know before seeking an attorney in order to file a claim against a rogue bill collector. Both the Federal government and the state in which you live have set up laws that bill collectors must adhere to.

If you think you have been treated unfairly, and if you are being harassed, we can help. If a debt collector violated Federal and/or state laws, you should make them pay. We will be more than happy to assess whether or not you have a claim. Don’t hesitate to give me a call or set up an appointment at any of our consumer law offices. We have offices conveniently located in Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Salem.

If any of the above information triggers any concerns for you, please feel free to share them with us. We understand just how burdensome debt related issues can seem. While debt defense, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and bankruptcy issues can all get pretty complex in a hurry, our attorneys have devoted their careers to these areas of the law. To set up a time to go over your situation with us just click an open appointment slot on our calendar. As always, both phone and in-person consultations are free and we are happy to answer your questions.

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