The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) offers consumers protection against overly aggressive debt collection actions by debt collectors and debt collection agencies. One manner a consumer may have the right to sue a debt collector under the FDCPA, is when a debt collector, in the course of collecting a debt, makes an illegal or improper threat of litigation or legal action, such as filing a lawsuit against the consumer. Debt collectors will often use such “scare” tactics involving threats of legal action to collect debts when it does not intend to or it is unable to pursue such legal action. What consumers may not know is that more often than not, a debt collector will not actually pursue any litigation or legal action.
A debt collector’s improper threats of litigation against a consumer in the course of collecting a debt are viewed as illegal under the FDCPA. The FDCPA strictly forbids a debt collector from threatening a consumer with legal action which the debt collector cannot or will not actually perform such legal action. Some examples of such threats are claims of garnishing wages, ruining the consumer’s credit and taking the consumer’s property through legal action. It is important to note that the legal action the debt collector is threatening the consumer with must be that which cannot or will not be performed.
There are many different reasons for filing a lawsuit under the FDCPA and its state law counterparts. If you believe your rights may have been violated under, we recommend contacting an attorney to discuss your case and possible legal options. This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not to be construed as providing legal advice. Again, if you believe you have been injured under the FDCPA, we highly recommend that you contact an attorney for further information and legal advice.