How to Recover Damages Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
It is easy to know that you are being harassed by debt collectors but it is another thing to be able to adequately document it so that you can recover damages under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. To that end, it is really important that you try to document any interaction that you have with your debt collectors, keeping good records of all calls or letters that you receive. We can help by providing a log so that you can keep a sound admissible record of when your collectors are calling you, what they are saying and how it made you feel. So contact me anytime so that these violations don’t fall through the cracks.
Have Debt Collectors Violated the FDCPA?
Remember that the the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that absolutely bars debt collectors from using harassing, abusive, and deceptive practices when attempting to collect a debt from you. It is, therefore, a violation of the FDCPA anytime one of your debt collectors does any of the following:
- lies or misleads you;
- yells or shouts at you;
- uses profanity or racial slurs;
- phones or writes to any of your friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors and lets them know that you owe a debt;
- threatens to sue you or garnish you when they have no intention to do so
- calls you at work after you’ve told them not to
- tells you that you can be arrested or go to jail if you don’t pay the debt
- calls you or writes you when they know you are represented
- threatens violence
- calls you repeatedly or even just rings your phone repeatedly
- any other conduct that is unfair, untrue, undignified, or disrespectful.
Your Right to Receive Damages
The important thing to remember is that if a debt collector violates the FDCPA, you have the right to sue them, and if you win the case, receive up to $1,000.00, plus any actual damages that you’ve suffered. In addition to the FDCPA, damages are also available under both Oregon and Washington state law. And the debt collector must pay your attorneys’ fees and any out-of-pocket costs. In other words, if you win your case, you get $1,000, any provable actual damages, a free lawyer, and your litigation costs paid for.
Since damages are recoverable, it is incredibly important that the violations be documented accurately. So save every letter you get from a debt collector, including the envelope. Take detailed notes of every conversation you have with a debt collector. Get the log from us so that you can start building a record and make copies, include notes of everything that just doesn’t feel right to you. When you come in for a free appointment bring in your debt collector contact records with you.
Contact Us to Learn More
We can help figure out whether a debt collector has violated the FDCPA. If they have, we can discuss whether suing them is a good option for you.