I can make debt collection calls stop, and help you stand up for your rights against a debt collector.
You are entitled to damages and attorney fees from a debt collector that breaks the law. That means if you pursue a successful claim, the debt collector has to pay you monetary damages, and the debt collector has to pay my attorney fees.
I have helped consumers stand up to debt collectors since 2009. I have seen how debt collectors can impact not only a consumer’s life, but the lives of people close to a consumer. And when debt collectors hear from me, they know that I mean business.
If you are ready to stand up for your rights, then contact me today.
The types of cases that I handle
Federal law protects you against unfair and deceptive debt collection. I have handled all types of cases involving unfair debt collection.
For example, I have represented consumers when a debt collector repeatedly calls family and friends in an attempt to a collect a debt. In many of those cases, the debt collector already knows how to contact the right person—so they have no reason to call the wrong people.
Debt collectors also like to call people at work, which can cause all sorts of problems. In many of those cases, even though the debt collector does not reveal the debt, it still creates problems with an employer.
Even if you are receiving calls for someone else’s debt, the law protects you. Debt collectors are not allowed to call the wrong person about a debt. And a debt collector cannot try and collect the debt from the wrong person.
- Stop a debt collector from collecting on old debt
The law protects you against unfair debt collection
Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect consumers against unfair and abusive debt collection.
The FDCPA was specifically enacted because of how unfair debt collection affects
- The number of personal bankruptcies;
- Marital instability;
- The loss of jobs; and
- Invasions of individual privacy.
For many consumers, they may experience one or more of these factors as a result of unfair or abusive debt collection. When a consumer’s alleged debt is revealed to a friend, family member, or co-worker, it can cause stress and embarrassment.
The law entitles you to damages and a free attorney
The good news is that if you have a claim under the FDCPA, and if you are successful, the debt collectors pay your attorney fees. This fee-shifting provision allow consumer lawyers like myself to essentially act as private regulators of debt collection conduct.
Under the FDPCA, you are entitled to four benefits:
- Costs in pursuit of a lawsuit
- Reasonable attorney fees
- Statutory damages up to $1,000
- Actual damages
What that means is if you have a case and you prevail, the other side pays your attorney fees and costs, which is how consumer lawyers are able to bring these cases on full contingency. You are also entitled to up to $1,000 in statutory damages and actual damages.
Actual damages can be charges to your phone line caused by a debt collector’s calls. If you are harassed or abused by a debt collector, you may be entitled to recover damages for your emotional distress.
For example, if a debt collector uses insulting language towards a consumer, or if a debt collector reveals a consumer’s debt to a third-party like a co-worked or family member. In some situations, the effects of abusive debt collection can cause a consumer to seek medical help for the emotional distress.
How to protect yourself against abusive debt collection
Rule 1: be smart. If a debt collector tries to collect money on a debt you have never heard of (or a debt you are unsure of), do your due diligence before making any payment arrangements. There are lots of consumer scams, and that includes attempts to collect on invalid debts. Even worse, debts that have already been paid.
Rule 2: document your communications. If you receive collection letters, keep them. If you are receiving voicemails, save them. If you are receiving debt collection phone calls, take notes during the phone calls. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of your phone to document the phone calls. Missed calls rarely (if ever) show up on cellphone bills.
Rule 3: let the harassment be a one-way street. If a debt collector says something that offends you, or you feel harassed, contact a consumer rights attorney, like me. While it may feel good to turn the harassment back on the debt collector, that can have potential negative ramifications if you have a claim.
If you have been harassed by a debt collector, or if you have questions about communications with a debt collector, contact me.