Some debt collectors go to great lengths to collect debts: using trickery or harassment to bully consumers into paying up. When abusive debt collectors cross the line, the consumer may be entitled to damages of $1,000 and more under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
In addition to financial damages, the creditor would have to pay the consumer’s attorney fees. In some cases, the attorney representing the consumer can resolve the underlying debt without filing bankruptcy.
What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a law that makes it illegal for debt collectors to use unfair, deceptive or abusive tactics to collect consumer debts such as credit card bills. Examples of prohibited tactics include:
- Pretending to be someone else such as a police officer, a person serving legal notice or someone associated with the government
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. in the morning or after 9:00 p.m. at night
- Calling you at your place of employment if you have told the debt collector you’re not allowed to get calls there
- Calling your neighbors or relatives
- Calling you repeatedly
- Threatening you
- Using abusive language
- Attempting to collect a debt larger than you owe
What damages can I collect if the debt collector uses prohibited tactics?
If a creditor violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the consumer is entitled to:
- $1,000 damages for the legal violation
- Actual damages you suffered from the illegal practices, such as wage loss
- Attorney fees
The Frankfort Law Firm offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We offer contingency fee representation, meaning we charge no fees up front and recover our costs from your creditor. In some cases, we are able to resolve the underlying debt without filing bankruptcy.