Debt collection is a billion dollar industry. It is so profitable because debt collectors can buy past due debts for pennies on the dollar and then attempt to collect the full amount from you, the consumer. The allure of making so much return on a minor investment causes many debt collectors to become overly aggressive in trying to collect from consumers like you. Congress enacted the Fair Debt collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect consumers and regulate collections.
The type of businesses that engage in collections are collection agencies, debt buyers, attorneys, and anyone else who regularly collects debts of another.
It can be very distressing when you find your self placed in collections. If you are contacted over a past due account by anyone other than the original creditor, you are speaking to a debt collector. Collectors must be RESPECTFUL, FAIR, and TRUTHFUL.
If, while attempting to collect, collectors violate those principles of respect, fairness, and truth, they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
The law allows you to collect money damages, attorney’s fees and costs from abusive debt collectors. Collection agencies, law firms, and any other third party that regularly collects debt is subject to this law.
Common FDCPA Violations
Threats of arrest if you don’t pay your debt.
Threats to file or actually filing suit on time-barred debt. (4 or 6 years in Georgia)
Failing to validate a debt before collecting.
Contacting you at work after being told not to call at work or if they know that you cannot receive calls.
Trying to collect on a debt discharged in bankruptcy.
Contacting a third party and telling them about your debt or repeatedly contacting the same third party.
Collecting debts against the wrong person.
Filing suit against you in the wrong venue.(You can be sued where contract signed or where you live).
Making false or misleading representations.
Using vile or profane language.
Demanding more money than allowed by law. (Adding on collection fees or demanding the wrong amount).
Depositing a post dated check before the date agreed.
Questions to Ask
Don't Sweat the Debt, Beat the Rest
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