We Can Make A Difference for You Or Your Business

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Consumer Rights Attorneys in Rockville Maryland

When you receive an FDCPA violation letter, the first thing you want to do is throw it away. They are threatening letters!

But once you find out that the violation was a mistake…you will want to know what to do next! You need help from a skilled attorney who knows how to negotiate with collectors and Debt Collection Agencies.

Solution? Contact Kurland Law Group for help and representation if you have been contacted by a debt collector – conforming to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. We have attorneys waiting for your call now. 

Debt Collectors: Who Are They?

Debt collectors are regulated by both federal and state law. Debt collectors include

  • Collection agencies
  • Lawyers
  • Creditors who are collecting on behalf of another
  • Creditors who are collecting under a different name

Creditors collecting debts for themselves are not considered “debt collectors” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

What is exactly the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act? 

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) amends the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, fraudulent, and unfair collection practices.

With so many debt collection agencies, it’s crucial to know your rights to avoid unlawful debt collection tactics.

Fair Debt Collection Practices: Know Your Rights

  • Debt collectors may only contact clients between 8 am and 9 pm.
  • Constant Contact is Forbidden – Calling repeatedly to irritate or harass the customer into paying their debts is prohibited.
  • Work Contact Restrictions – Debt Collectors may not contact clients who informed the debt collectors that they cannot take calls at work. 
  • Attorney First – Debt collectors cannot contact a customer if they know they have an attorney representing them.
  • A collection agency may not contact a person who has sought validation on a stated debt during the appropriate validation time (typically the first 30 days).

Those targeted by debt collectors have additional legal protections:

Evidence: Consumers are entitled to demonstrate that they owe money. Collectors must provide a copy of an unpaid bill or other proof of a payment violation.

Harassment – Debt collectors may not threaten, harass, or abuse customers. Using vulgar or profane language or persistently calling them to cause inconvenience. 

The only exception is if the collector needs assistance finding you and has an updated phone number or address. They can’t even publish lists of non-paying customers. Consumers may inform the collector that the harassment is illegal.

False Statements – Debt collectors cannot lie to collect a debt. Some instances include posing as credit reporting agencies, lawyers, or government officials, alleging you committed a crime or misrepresenting your debt.

Misrepresentation: Collectors can’t be someone else. Debtors have reported collectors impersonating as cops, lawyers, and credit bureaus. Impersonating a cop is unlawful in several states, and it’s criminal to do it to collect a debt. 

Debt collectors also can’t threaten you with acts they aren’t authorized to do. This includes garnishing salaries without a court order and taking property that is not collateral for a loan. Also, if the statute of limitations has expired, they cannot sue you.

Unfair Practices: Debt collectors cannot use abusive debt collection methods to attempt to collect more than the customer owes or state law permits. If you pay a collector with a post-dated check, they can’t deposit it early. Collectors can’t threaten to seize your property unless they can do so lawfully, and they can’t contact you by mail.

Threats – Debt collectors cannot threaten customers with legal measures. They can’t even threaten them with legal action.

Wage Garnishment – Debt collectors cannot garnish wages or bank accounts without a court order—a ruling directing a bank or employer to pay a debt. Several government benefits are protected from garnishment, including Social Security, student aid, and military pensions.

Misleading Correspondence: Debt collectors can’t give out inaccurate information about you to anybody, including credit reporting agencies. They can’t send you anything that appears like a court or government document but isn’t. If they are legal paperwork, they cannot mislead you into believing they are not.

Right to sue: If debt collectors disobey the law. Consumers may sue them individually or through a class action lawsuit.

Debt collectors are prohibited by Maryland law from…

  • Employing or threatening the use of force or violence.
  • Threatening criminal prosecution until there is evidence of a breach of criminal law.
  • Revealing or threatening to disclose information adversely impacting your creditworthiness if they are aware of the information’s falsity.
  • Before receiving a final judgment, contacting your employer about a debt.
  • Disclosing or threatening to disclose information damaging your reputation to someone other than you and your spouse (or, if you are a child, your parent(s)), if the debt collector knows that the person receiving the information does not have a valid need for the info.
  • Connecting with you or anyone associated with you at unsociable hours, too often, or harassing, oppressive, or abusive.
  • Using impolite words while talking with you or anybody connected to you.
  • Making a claim, attempting to enforce, or threatening to enforce a right while being aware that the request does not exist.
  • Utilizing a message that mimics a legal or judicial proceeding or seems to be authorized, issued, or sanctioned by a government agency or lawyer.

What If a Collector Breaks the Act or the Law?

Take action if you think a debt collector has broken the law. Your ability to sue a collector in state or federal court is limited to one year.

File a case. An unauthorized collector may be ordered to pay damages if you can show you lost earnings or incurred medical expenditures. You may get up to $1,000 even if you can’t show actual damages. One person or one percent of the collector’s net worth may sue as a class and recover up to $500,000.

Retain records. A record of phone conversations, voicemails, texts, and letters may be convincing evidence to a court or jury. The recordings might reveal a pattern of conduct when combined.

The FTC protects consumers from unfair and misleading conduct. These laws vary from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and may enhance it.

Preventing debt collection harassment requires consulting your state’s attorney general’s office.

What if a Creditor Sues Me?

Attend court on time if you’re being sued for a debt. If you don’t show up, the decision is against you, and the collection agency may sue you.

Consider filing your lawsuit if you believe the collection agency has broken the law. It protects your rights.

Kurkland Law Group’s consumer rights attorneys are ready to fight for you!

Know your rights and protect yourself. If you are being harassed, or feel harassed, call us to set up a free consultation. Help is available regardless of your financial situation or the complexity of your situation. 

We will begin preparing a case for you immediately to minimize the harassing calls and letters, stop the debt collection activities, and secure a fair settlement for you.

Here at Kurkland Law Group, we have skills and experience helping clients get out of overwhelming debt and poor credit situations. Our consumer rights attorneys will fight for your rights and help you recover the high costs of bad debt.

Get the Help You Deserve. Contact Us Today

rockville bankruptcy lawyers

View My
Avvo Profile

sari kurland avvo
Kurland Law Group
211 Jersey Lane Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 424-2834Map/Directions
rockville bankruptcy attorney map

Get the Help You Deserve. Contact Us Today

Copyright © 2021 Sari Kurland Bankruptcy - All Rights Reserved | Powered by Advantage Attorney Marketing & Cloud Solutions