Debt collectors are regulated by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") 15 U.S.C. § 11692, et seq.The FDCPA is a United Statesstatute added in 1978 as Title VIII of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Its purposes are to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts, to promote fair debt collection and to provide consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information's accuracy.The Act creates guidelines under which debt collectors may conduct business, defines rights of consumers involved with debt collectors, and prescribes penalties and remedies for violations of the Act.
The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using abusive or dishonest methods to collect debts. Regardless of whether or not a consumer actually owes an alleged debt, he cannot be harassed, intimidated, or lied to by a debt collector. Unfortunately, such practices are all too common.
If you've received a written debt collection letter or believe that you've been victimized by a debt collector, contact this office for a free evaluation of your case. If there has indeed been an FDCPA violation, you may be entitled to statutory damages of up to $1,000 and attorneys' fees.
What may appear to the consumer to be a proper debt collection letter written by a lawyer or collection agency could contain language that violates the FDCPA (or fail to contain required language outlining your rights). Receiving such a letter could entitle you to the damages noted above.
Often, debt collectors engage in the same statutory violations in dealing with hundreds or thousands of consumers. In cases such as these, filing a Class Action on behalf of all individuals who were treated similarly is the most effective deterrent against chronic violations of the FDCPA.
Examples of Improper Debt Collection Practices
1)Calling the consumer at work after the debt-collector has been told that it's inconvenient or that the consumer's employer prohibits personal calls.
2)Telling others such as family members, co-workers, and neighbors that the consumer owes money.
3)Continuing to contact the consumer if the debt-collector knows that the consumer is represented by an attorney.
4)Calling repeatedly, or calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
5)Asking neighbors to deliver phone messages.
6)Falsely implying that a debt collector is an attorney.
7) Falsely implying that the consumer has committed a crime and could go to jail for not paying a debt.
8) Threatening to seize, garnish, attach, or sell the consumer's property or wages, unless there is already a legal judgment.
9) Sending anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency, when it isn't.
10) Collecting any amount greater than the actual debt, unless allowed by law.
If you have been contacted by a debt-collector, Contact the Firmwith the details. Consumers should always keep copies of all correspondence from a debt-collector.
New York Attorney General Shuts Down Debt Collectors
NEW YORK, NY (May 27, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office has launched a statewide inquiry into debt collection companies. As part of the inquiry, the Attorney General’s Office obtained a court order against Lamont Cooper and his two debt collection companies, Emanee Development, Inc. and Dial Tech LLC, under which the companies will shut down and Cooper will be forced to pay restitution to consumers statewide.
FDCPA Class Action Cases–Anchondo v. Anderson: New Mexico Federal Court Denies Motion To Dismiss FDCPA Class Action Holding Class Action Complaint Adequately Alleged Debt Collector Violated State And Federal Laws
Class Action Alleging Violation of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Survives Defense Motion to Dismiss because Class Action Complaint Alleged Debt Collector Failed to Identify Itself or that it was Attempting to Collect a Debt in its Initial Communication with Plaintiff New Mexico Federal Court Holds
FDCPA Class Action Cases–Seeger v. AFNI: Seventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Against Debt Collector In FDCPA Class Action Holding Fee Sought To Be Recovered By Debt Collector Were Not Authorized
District Court Properly Granted Plaintiffs’ Summary Judgment Motion in Class Action Under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because Fees Debt Collector Sought to Recover and Underlying Class Action Claims were not Proper Seventh Circuit Holds
FDCPA Class Action Cases–Quiroz v. Revenue Production Management: Illinois Federal Court Certifies Class Action Holding Requirements For Certification Of Rule 23(b)(3) Class Action Had Been Met
FDCPA Class Action Complaint Warranted Class Action Treatment because Plaintiff Satisfied Requirements for Rule 23(b)(3) Class Illinois Federal Court Holds
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