Being harassed by debt collectors can be a frightening experience, especially if they are threatening to file suit. However, there are numerous state and federal that have been put in place to protect consumers from abusive practices on the part of debt collection agencies.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): The FDCPA prohibits the following collection methods, which are punishable offenses:
- Attempting to contact you at your place of employment
- Calling you at irregular hours
- Threatening to file suit or garnish wages
- Attempting to collect incorrect amounts
- Notifying anyone other than your spouse about your debt
- Failing to notify the debtor of who is calling and for what purpose
- Collecting or reporting a debt that does not belong to you on your credit
- Falsely threatening to damage your credit
- Any form of misrepresentation or fraudulent threat
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA): The TCPA protects individuals from communications that invade our privacy. The most frequent example involves auto-dialing, which is a software program that automatically dials phone numbers and plays recorded messages. Individuals who have been receiving these types of calls related to a debt might be entitled to legal action and damages. Banks and collection agencies are not allowed to call or text a cell phone without expressed consent and may not auto-dial once they have been told to cease.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA): The FCRA regulates credit reporting agencies and governs compliance with information gathering and distribution. According to the FCRA, consumers have the right to:
- Annual access to your credit report
- Protected access to your credit report
- Accurate reporting and information
- Removal of outdated information
- Medical information privacy
- Eliminate unsolicited credit offers
- Personal account number privacy
- Notifications of potential negative information
- Seek damages for violations
If you or someone you know has had their rights violated by one or more debt collection agencies, please contact our offices today by completing this form or calling 202.793.4433. You might be entitled to financial compensation. We offer free consultations and are eager to help you resolve your legal issues in a timely and effective manner.