What Are Actual Damages?

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Actual damages are physical, psychological or legal damages suffered by an individual in a court case. Physical damages are damages that include loss of wages due to the actions of a debt collector. Psychological damages can include stress or anxiety experienced by the consumer.

Legal damages are the actual legal fees paid to the court or an attorney to pursue a case. Actual damages do not need to be proved in order to be awarded. If the court determines the debt collector is responsible for damages, the court can award actual damages without the need for the consumer to prove the damages occurred.

What do Actual Damages Mean in an FDCPA Case?

Actual damages in an FDCPA case refer to actual damages caused to a consumer by a debt collector. Debt collectors may be responsible for a loss of wages if they harass an individual at his or her place of employment and the individual suffers an actual loss of wages as a result of the harassment. Psychological damages can include stress, anxiety or fear that causes excessive psychological damage to the consumer. Typically in FDCPA cases actual damages do not need to be proved, but they cannot exceed $1,000. If you feel you have been harmed by a debt collector you have up to 12 months to file a claim against them.

How Can an Attorney Help?

If you have suffered actual damages as the result of harassment from a debt collector, an attorney can help. If you are awarded actual damages, your legal fees may be covered. An attorney may be able to help you file a case at either the federal or state level.

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