If you owe a debt, you may feel like you’re facing a major burden, but you have rights.
The FDCPA is an act introduced by Congress in 1978 that outlines the conduct a collector must adhere to when trying to collect a debt. If it does not adhere to these regulations, it may end up owing damages to the debtor.
15 common violations of the FDCPA
Contact You After They Find Out You Are Being Represented by an Attorney
If you have told a debt collector that you are being represented by an attorney regarding a collection account, all communication must stay between the collector and your attorney. If the collector attempts to contact you directly, let your attorney know when the calls occurred. The attorney will take it from there when it comes to recouping damages for this violation.
Talk to a Third Party About Your Debt
Debt collectors are not permitted to talk to your employers, co-workers, family, friends or neighbors about the debt you owe unless you have given them permission to do so. Communicating with a third party about your debt is a violation of the FDCPA.
Contact You at Work if Your Employer is Not Okay with It
If a collector is calling you at work and your employer does not approve of the communication, let the collector know. If the collector persists, it will be violating your rights.
Asks to Pay More Than You Owe
It is common for collectors to get interest rates and debt amounts incorrect. This can happen on purpose or by mistake. It’s a good idea to send any letters asking for payment to an attorney so they can verify the amount.
Asks for Interest, Fees, or Expenses That Were Not in the Agreement
Collectors cannot collect fees that weren’t agreed to in the original loan agreement. This includes attorney fees, administrative fees, and late fees.
A collector cannot call you repeatedly with the intent to harass you into paying a debt. This is another FDCPA violation.
Call at Times They Know Are Inconvenient
If you informed a collector not to call at times that were inconvenient for you and the collector persists in calling at these times, this is a violation of the FDCPA. Take note of the times and dates of the calls so you can effectively report them to your attorney.
Sue You in the Wrong Court
If a collector sues you for a debt , it can only do this in either the jurisdiction where the contract was signed or where you currently live. If you were sued far from home or where you executed the contract, you may have a claim.
Threaten Actions they Don’t Take
Collectors can’t garnish your wages, take your property, cause you to lose your job, ruin your credit or sue you unless they have the right to do so. If collectors make threats that you know they don’t have the right to follow through on, or you are not sure if they do or not have the right, it’s a good idea to consult an FDCPA attorney.
Harass Your Friends, Family, and Neighbors
Collectors may not communicate with your friends and relatives more than once to try to obtain your contact information, with limited exceptions. Any additional calls may violate the FDCPA.
Failure to Send a Debt Validation Notice
Collectors are required to send debtors a notice of their rights to request debt validation within five days after their first communication with the debtor. Debtors will then have 30 days to send this request and collectors are obligated to reply or cease collection activity.
Ignore the Validation Request
Once a debtor sends a request for debt validation, the collector has thirty days to provide it to. The collector must refrain from communicating with the debtor until the verification is received. Communicating with a debtor before sending the validation is a common violation.
Fail to Disclose Communication is Coming from a Debt Collector
Every time a collector communicates with a debtor, he must make it clear that the communication is from a debt collector. This applies to any type of communication including robocalls.
Continues Trying to Collect After Receiving a Cease Communication Notice
If you send a written cease communication request to a collector, he is required to desist all communication, with extremely limited exceptions..
Call Before 8:00 AM or 9:00 PM
These are times that are considered inconvenient. If your collector is calling you very early in the morning or very late at night, all you need is your phone records to report this violation.
Protect Yourself from Harassing Debt Collectors
If you are in the state of Louisiana and a collector is harassing you, Samuel Ford of Alexander Shunnarah Personal Injury Attorneys can help. Call to make sure your rights are protected.
Samuel Ford of SVHC offers free consultations and, if you have a claim, you may be able to recover all associated costs and attorney’s fees, meaning SVHC may be able to represent you at no cost to you! Contact Samuel Ford today!