The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted so legal entities could oversee consumer debt collection practices and make sure that debtors were being treated fairly throughout the process. The FDCPA provides precise directions regarding the confirmation of debts by collection agencies and how consumers can dispute the validity of debts for which they are being billed.
The Act also specifies collectors cannot call to collect debts between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. and also limits the frequency of contact that is permitted. If you are a Massachusetts resident who has been the victim of a debt collector who does not adhere to the FDCPA, you could be eligible to file a civil suit for $1,000 in damages. You should consult with an FDCPA attorney in Massachusetts so you can stop the debt collection calls and end the harassment!
Massachusetts FDCPA Laws and How They Work
In addition to the FDCPA, debt collectors in Massachusetts must adhere to the Massachusetts Consumer Debt Collection Act (MCDCA) which offers additional protection to those in Massachusetts who owe consumer debts. Things that are covered by the MCDCA include the regulation of debt collectors, making them be licensed and submit to other regulations. The MCDCA prohibits certain collection activities and defines a debt collector as anyone who has a business that collects debts or engages in the regular process of debt collection.
According to Massachusetts state law, attorneys, process servers, people who collect bills from tenants on behalf of landlords and utility companies, or who are trying to collect their own debts do not fall into the category of debt collectors.
Differences in FDCPA and Massachusetts FDCPA Laws
There are differences between the FDCPA and the Massachusetts collection laws. The state Act requires that debt collectors be licensed and maintain books and internal business records that can be accessed by the Commissioner of Banks upon demand. The Commissioner can revoke a debt collector's license if any debt collection regulations are violated or if any act would have initially disqualified the collector from being licensed.
The Massachusetts Act prevents the collection of debts in a manner that is "unfair, deceptive, or unreasonable" if the person owing the debt is a resident of Massachusetts who acquired the debt for purposes that are personal, family, or household in nature. The state prohibits the collector from threatening violence, harassing or embarrassing the debtor, frequent communication or communication at unreasonable hours, threatening any action that would fall outside usual business practices, using offensive or obscene language, or sending any written communication that imitates any judicial proceeding.
Consult with an FDCPA Attorney
If you have been the victim of a debt collector who violated the FDCPA and state consumer collection laws, you should consult with a Massachusetts FDCPA attorney. An FDCPA attorney can ensure your rights are protected and file civil action seeking up to $1,000 in damages on your behalf. With the help of a Massachusetts FDCPA attorney, you can put an end to the harassment you are receiving from debt collectors.