28 Feb Creditor Harassment and How to Stop it!
Each day in Minnesota thousands upon thousands of phone calls and letters go out from collection firms. Each day these same debt collectors violate various provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In most cases the collectors who do the violation do not know they broke the law, which is to say their action is not intentional. The results of the violation of the law intentional or not can be prosecuted by an attorney at no cost. In cases where the FDCPA has been violated the creditor or debt collector is liable for $1,000.00 in damages for each and ever violation plus the attorney costs to prosecute. The attorney costs are where the real teeth of the FDCPA come into effect. Creditors know that when they violate the FDCPA the paying for attorney fees of the debtor can add up especially when the creditor contests a case and loses. Through thorough research of law and evidence gathering we can help turn the table on unscrupulous debt collectors. Gone are the days where creditors can call you names and contact your family and friends even though you have told them to stop. Gone are the days where creditors can threaten legal action with no intent on moving forward.
The FDCPA is covered in 15 U.S.C. sec 1692, with a congressional goal of stopping abusive collection practices. Prior to the FDCPA collectors in Minnesota and throughout the nation engaged in a wild west style of collections with little guidance as to what was legal and what was not. Although some collectors express a disdain for the FDCPA it has helped to serve as a guide on how to act when collecting debt. Specifically the FDCPA applies to:
1. Collection agencies: (IC Systems; Allied Interstate Inc., Viking; Bureau of Collection Recovery; Alliance One Receivables Management, Inc.; Van Ru Credit Corporation; General Revenue Corporation; Nationwide Recovery Systems, LTD; and Commercial Recovery Corporation (CRC))
2. Attorneys & Lawyers: (Messerli & Kramer; Gurstel & Chargo; Como law firm; Rausch, Strum)
3. Creditors using a false name;
4. Creditors collecting for another person or Debt Buyers; (Midland Funding)
5. Repossession and foreclosure companies;
6. Debt Buyers;
7. Credit counselors;
8. Check cashing or payday loan services.
Each one of these groups must comply with the FDCPA or face strict liability for violation. Violations include:
1. Contacts at unusual or inconvenient times or places;
2. Contact when a party is represented by an attorney;
3. Contact at a workplace;
4. Contacting friends, neighbors, relatives or an employer;
5. Contacting after a cease communication request has been forwarded;
6. Contacting or collecting after a bankruptcy filing;
7. Contacting in a harassing, oppressive or abusive manner;
9. Use of obscene, profane or abusive language;
10. Repeated phone calls
11. Contacts on a message machine or voice mail;
12. Threats of suit;
13. Threat of imprisonment or arrest;
14. Failing to disclose that communication is from a debt collector and that the information received will be used for debt collection purposes upon each and ever communication.
These are just a few of the illegal tactics that may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Each case is unique, but without checking with an attorney who practices FDCPA law you may never know if you have been the victim of collection abuse. We always offer a free consultation. If you have been a victim we can stop it and make the collectors pay!