Having to deal with an overly aggressive debt collection agency is tough enough. However, it gets much worse when a company deceives you by making false statements regarding your debt. For decades leading up to September 20, 1977, many third party debt collectors misrepresented themselves by outright lying to consumers in a number of ways. After hearing feedback from constituents, the United States Congress passed the most influential consumer protection law ever.
Called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the federal consumer protection law outlaws a long list of debt collection tactics that were previously considered legally valid. The FDCPA bans the longstanding debt collection practice of issuing threats. According to the FDCPA, the bill collector like FH Cann & Associates cannot threaten to contact a third party regarding your debt.
The company is also barred from threatening to contact the IRS or a law enforcement agency. Threats to contact the IRS or a law enforcement agency are also considered false statements under the FDCPA.
Types of False Statements Banned by the FDCPA
A bill collector is not permitted to claim your debt will become part of a bankruptcy proceeding. This type of false statement is made to put fear into consumers. In fact, only you are able to initiate the bankruptcy process, and any debt collection agency that tells you otherwise has violated the false statements provision of the FDCPA.
The monumental consumer protection law also prohibits third party debt collectors from impersonating another organization. By claiming to be representing the IRS, a bill collector expects the false statement to strike enough fear for a consumer to take action.
Impersonating a law enforcement agency represents another false statement that should have no bearing on how you react. The United States does not allow the establishment of debtor prisons to punish consumers for unpaid bills.
How to Handle the False Statements Made by a Debt Collection Agency
If you believe a bill collector has made one or more false statements regarding your debt, you should be proactive by contacting a licensed consumer protection attorney who handles FDCPA cases.
You lawyer will not only try to prove a debt collection agency made false statements, he or she will also determine whether the false statements were “material” in affecting your ability to evaluate your personal finance options.
Demonstrating a link between false statements and your financial decision making process requires the presentation of physical evidence that documents your financial transactions.
How to Make a Third Party Debt Collector Pay for Violating the FDCPA
The United States Congress gave consumers the right to file claims that seek monetary damages for one or more violations of the FDCPA. Statutory damages, which cannot exceed $1,000, cover every violation of the FDCPA committed by the same bill collector.
Actual damages represent the financial award handed out for the pain and suffering caused by the false statements made by a debt collection agency. If you have experienced physical and/or emotional distress symptoms, you might be eligible to receive just compensation for your pain and suffering.
Schedule a free initial consultation today with a licensed consumer protection lawyer who has amassed a record of winning FDCPA cases.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against FH Cann & Associates, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.