5 Reasons Why Every Credit Card Holder Should Know About The FDCPA.
The FDCPA protects consumers from debt collector harassment.
Anytime time the economy takes a hit, we see an increase in overly aggressive (and illegal!) debt collection tactics. That’s why it’s more important than ever to be aware of what your rights are as a consumer. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) gives consumers extra rights when dealing with debt collectors, and can allow them to be represented by that is paid by the violator.
If your credit card company, or any other debt collector, attempts to collect a debt by using any of the illegal tactics discussed below, contact the consumer protection attorneys at Sina Rez Law immediately for a no obligation consultation.
1. The FDCPA makes collectors pay you $1,000 for every violation.
We’ll discuss some of the most common violations below, but there’s a lot of them and they happen often.
You can sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year of the date the law was violated. You can sue for damages, like lost wages and medical bills. If you can’t prove damages, you can still be awarded up to $1,000, plus reimbursement for attorney’s fees and court costs. A group of people suing as part of a class action lawsuit can recover money for damages up to $500,000, or one percent of the collector’s net worth, whichever amount is lower.
2. There are so many common violations.
You have a LOT of rights under the FDCPA. The FDCPA stops collectors from doing any and all of the following:
- Excessive phone calls.
- Phone calls any time before 8 a.m. and any time after 9 p.m.
- Lying about the amount owed.
- Contacting third parties (people other than you) to discuss your debt.
- Not identifying themselves or telling you who they are collecting for.
- Not “validating” the debt, i.e. confirming it is actually owed by you.
- Making any threats.
- Ignoring requests to stop communications.
- Contacting you while you’re at work.
3. You can force debt collectors to stop contacting you.
Send a letter by mail asking for contact to stop (make yourself a copy before you do). You might want to send it by certified mail and pay for a “return receipt” so you have a record the collector received it. Or, you can contact our consumer protection attorneys and we’ll do it for you for free.
Once the collector gets your letter, they can no longer contact you to coerce you into paying. If you are represented by an attorney, and inform the collector, the collector must communicate with your attorney.
You might want to talk to the collector at least once, even if you don’t think you owe the debt or can’t repay it immediately. That way you can confirm whether it’s really your debt. If it is your debt, you can find out from the collector more information about it. In talking with a debt collector, be careful about sharing your personal or financial information, especially if you’re not already familiar with the collector.
3. You can force the debt collector to pay your attorneys fees.
If a debt collector has committed any of the violations we discussed, a consumer protection lawyer can represent you at no charge to you. Instead, when the case is over, the lawyer will collect their fees from the violator.
Sound too good to be true? It’s the law. The lawmakers understand people who owed debts often don’t have the money to pay for a lawyer out of pocket. This laws provides lawyers an incentive to take on your case.
5. The FDCPA covers credit cards & many common types of debt.
If you have any of the following personal debt, you are protecting by the FDCPA:
- Your credit card debt,
- auto loans,
- medical bills,
- student loans,
- mortgage, and
- other household debts are covered.
- Business debts are not.
Contact the Santa Monica Consumer Protection lawyers at Sina Rez Law today.
If you owe large amounts of credit card debt, or are a victim of debt collector harassment, contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.
Free case evaluation.
Speak with a top-rated Santa Monica Consumer Protection lawyer today to understand your rights before they expire. Time is of the essence.