by Bibek Das, Esq.
Owing debt has become synonymous with being an American consumer. Individuals owe debts for many reasons, including unexpected hardships and misinformation. That being said, what individuals may not know is that they have rights that protect them from abusive debt collection practices. Individuals should be aware that State and Federal laws exist to help regulate the actions of debt collectors when they are attempting to collect outstanding debts.
Our focus this week is on the main federal law that governs how debt collectors can do business. It is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). Generally speaking, this law defines who constitutes a “debt collector” and prohibits debt collectors from using unfair, abusive or deceptive tactics to collect debts from individuals. Such prohibited actions include incessant calling and sending dunning letters to the debtor, threatening legal action without intention to follow through, threatening to seize, garnish, attach or sell your property or your wages unless the law permits them to do so and they intend to follow through. Additionally, many states have their own laws that govern debt collection practices, and some offer even stronger protection than the federal FDCPA. We will continue to discuss the FDCPA in future editions, and will discuss individual’s rights of action under this law and some of its specific provisions.
There are many different reasons for filing a lawsuit under the FDCPA and its state law counterpart. If you believe your rights may have been violated under, we recommend contacting an attorney to discuss your case and possible legal options.
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.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not to be construed as providing legal advice.