Are you receiving threatening or harassing phone calls from a debt or bill collector or a collection agency? Is the debt collector calling your family, or interfering with your work? Have you been contacted to collect debt that is not yours? A Fair Debt Collection attorney can help.
You do not have to face these problems alone. An experienced Fair Debt Collection Practices Attorney can advise you on the next steps to take based on your individual situation and determine the best course of action for you to take. Our goal is to help you to stop the harassment and hold the collection agency accountable for the damage they caused you. A Fair Debt Collection attorney at ARM Lawyers can help you recover for the violation of your rights.
What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, is a federal statute which prohibits debt collectors from harassing, oppressing, abusive, invasive, and deceptive collection practices in collecting consumer debts. Individual states may have their own versions of this statute in addition.
You are a consumer, and are entitled under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to be treated respectfully by a debt collection agency. This means that if an action taken by the debt collector was unfair, untrue, undignified, or disrespectful, they have taken actions which violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
When collection agencies violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you may be entitled to sue them for monetary damages, up to $1,000 per violation. You may also get your attorney’s fees awarded to you as part of the settlement or verdict.
What is considered harassment by a debt collector?
While some actions taken by debt collectors may be clearly illegal, such as threats against you or your family, other actions might be less obvious. For example, a debt collector may not:
- Contact you at work, unless you and/or your employer allow
- Claim to be attorneys if they are not
- Send any papers that falsely claim to be legal documents, or falsely resemble legal documents
- Contact any family, friends, neighbors, or any other third party on your behalf, with some exceptions
- Add interest or fees that is not permitted by law
- Use any profanities or obscene language in speaking with you
- Call you without identifying him or herself as a debt collector
- Call you at an unreasonable time, which the law presumes is before 8 AM or after 9 PM
- Call you repeatedly
- Claim you owe a greater debt that you actually owe
An experienced Fair Debt Collection attorney can look closely at your personal situation to determine whether the specific actions taken by the collection agency violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and how to best handle the case.
Who is a Debt Collector under the FDCPA?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has very specific, and sometimes confusing, rules about who is a debt collector that may be sued for violating a consumers’ rights. For example, you may not sue a legal process server who delivers the violative lawsuit to you. You also may not sue a debt collector when it is the originator of the debt, sold the debt, and continues to service it; which includes mortgages and student loans. (Although you may be able to sue under Pennsylvania law.)
A debt collector under the Act is “any person who regularly collects, or attempts to collect, consumer debts for another person or institution or uses some name other than its own when collecting its own consumer debts. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can be tricky, and you need an experienced Fair Debt Collection attorney to help you navigate the legal process.
What Kinds of Debts are Covered Under the FDCPA?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is designed to protect consumers from harassment where it relates to their credit card debt, car loans, medical bills, student loans, mortgage, and any other “household debts.” Collections on business debts are not protected under the FDCPA.
You may also be concerned about collection on what you believe is an “old debt.” A Fair Debt Collection Practices attorney at ARM Lawyers can help you to determine whether the debt collection agency is trying to sue you past the statute of limitations and get rid of the lawsuit against you if it is time-barred.
Pennsylvania Fair Debt Collection Practices Attorney
Pennsylvania has a number of consumer protection laws in place to protect its citizens. Pennsylvania citizens not only get the protection of federal laws such as the FDCPA and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), but also get the additional protection of the Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act (FCEUA) and the Unfair Trade Practices Act and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL). In many cases, it is possible for a consumer to sue under both the federal and Pennsylvania laws.
The FCEUA regulates the debt collection activities of debt collectors and creditors in Pennsylvania. This law prohibits debt collectors and creditors from engaging in certain unfair or deceptive acts or practices while attempting to collect debts. The FCEUA Act encompasses the federal debt collection statute, the FDCPA, and provides certain important restrictions on the conduct of debt collectors. More importantly, the FCEUA offers more protection against harassment by creditors.
If you are subject to creditor harassment, our Pennsylvania Fair Debt Collection attorneys can advise you as to which laws have been violated and the best course of action for enforcing your rights.
What should I do if I’m being harassed by a debt collector?
If you receive inappropriate, threatening, or harassing calls from a debt collection agency or their employee, keep a record of all telephone calls and keep any documents that you receive in the mail. Be sure to record the content of the conversation, and provide that information to an experienced Fair Debt Collection attorney.
How can I sue a debt collector?
When debt collectors and attorneys violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a Fair Debt Collection attorney can help you to determine the right steps to take next to fix the errors and recover monetary damages for the violation of your rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal statute, which allows consumers to sue debt collectors and debt collection agencies for the violation of their rights. In addition, your state may have enacted its own similar statutes that could give you more rights to sue.
It can be a complicated process to decide who may be sued for violating your rights, and under what statutes, but the Fair Debt Collection attorneys at ARM Lawyers are equipped with the skills and knowledge to help you stop the threats, harassment, or interruptions of your life caused by collection agencies.
What can I sue a debt collector for?
A debt collector or agency may have taken actions which cause you embarrassment, interruption of your life, intrusion into your privacy, or one of many other negative impacts. Any damages stemming from the debt collector’s violation of your rights may be recoverable from the collection agency and its employees under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A Fair Debt Collection attorney can help you determine what damages may be recoverable in your particular case.
At ARM Lawyers, we help individuals in your situation sue the collection agency and any other proper parties to recover any monetary damages, embarrassment, or other negative impacts you may have suffered as a result of the illegal actions. We know how to value your case according to the negative impact the case has had on your life, and know how to handle the case accordingly.
What can a Fair Debt Collection attorney do?
A Fair Debt Collection Practices Attorney can evaluate your situation and the actions taken by the collection agency to determine the best path to take from there. Sometimes, that may involve sending a cease and desist letter. Or, it might require calling the debt collector to negotiate a settlement for your benefit, or it may involve litigation. If necessary, a Fair Debt Collection Practices attorneys at ARM Lawyers can help you file suit against the appropriate parties so that we can help recover any monetary damages to hold the agency accountable. The type of harassment or other illegal action, the damages you have suffered, and the collection agency’s actions will all be factors in how you can expect your case to unfold.
At ARM Lawyers, we have experienced and award-winning Fair Debt Collection attorneys who are not only well-versed in civil litigation, but also know the best path to take with your Fair Debt Collection Practice case.
What does a Fair Debt Collection attorney cost?
Generally, a Fair Debt Collection attorney will charge a contingency fee. This means that there is no money due up front and no money due unless you recover money from the other party. The FDCPA and FCEUA allow us to recover attorneys’ fees from the other party. That means that generally you will not be responsible for paying a Fair Debt Collection lawyer directly. For example, if a debt collector engages in abusive conduct, they may be required to pay you for their violations of the law, but would also be required to pay the lawyer who helped you sue.
Best Attorneys for Fair Debt Collection Practices
With the frequency of illegal actions taken by debt collection agencies, consumers need the right attorney to advise them on which actions are illegal and how to make the harassment stop. This can be a complex area of law, and you need a lawyer with extensive knowledge of the possible solutions.
Our Fair Debt Collection Practices attorneys can help you to hold collection agencies accountable for the illegal actions which are negatively impacting your life.
Contact us for a consultation with Fair Debt Collection Practices Attorney
You don’t need to handle debt collection harassment and the violation of your rights alone. Our Fair Debt Collection attorneys strive to make the process of taking on the debt collection agency less stressful for you, and provide the advice you need to take back control of your life. Call, email, or contact our law office today to schedule a consultation with a Fair Debt Collection attorney.
- Stroudsburg Fair Debt Collection attorney
- Palmerton Fair Debt Collection attorney
- Bethlehem Fair Debt Collection attorney
We can start the process over the phone or by video conference if you are uncomfortable visiting our office. We make everything as easy as possible for you from start to finish. Call us today at 570-424-6899.