Abusive Debt Collection
Debt has long been a way of life for most Americans, and the average amount of the typical household debt has risen 11 percent in the past decade. This is not so much due to American’s reckless spending, but rather a direct consequence of the rising costs of college tuition, housing and medical care, without a corresponding rise in income. Young adults are much more likely than their parents were to graduate college already in debt due to student loans and credit card payments taken out during college.
Given the large number of Americans consistently living with credit card debt and other types of debt, Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts. Debt collectors are prohibited under FDCPA from implementing harassing or abusive measures when attempting to collect debt. Furthermore, the FDCPA prohibits a debt collector from making any false or misleading representations during the collection of debt. Finally, FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from an unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt.
A company may be in violation of FDCPA if they participate in the following types of actions:
- Excessive phone calls and phone calls outside of traditional work hours
- Revealing the alleged debt to a consumer’s friend or family members
- Collecting on a debt that the consumer does not owe or was dismissed in bankruptcy
- Using profane language when collecting the debt
Any of these actions amounts to abusive debt collection, and the company can be held liable for its violation of FDCPA.
Consumers who wish to bring a claim under the FDCPA for abusive debt collections are entitled to the following:
- Statutory damages up to $1,000
- Attorney’s fees and court costs
- Actual damages (such as phone bills)
If you have questions regarding a company’s actions toward you and your family in debt collection, do not hesitate to contact an experienced consumer protection attorney. Many consumers believe that debt collectors are within their rights use any means to collect a debt. It is important to understand the federal restrictions and what leads to a violation of federal law.
Rodal Law | Florida Consumer Protection Attorney
If you or a loved one have been subject to abusive debt collection measures, you may be entitled to bring a claim against the company involved. Rodal Law has been assisting clients with their debt collection actions for more than five years. We have extensive experience in bringing claims before federal court. Contact our south Florida office today for your initial free consultation, which can be scheduled via Skype, phone, or in person.