Despite a federal consumer protection law, far too many debt collection agencies continue to use overly aggressive debt collection tactics when it comes to convincing consumers to take care of outstanding credit card and personal loan balances.
Some of the most common overly aggressive debt collection practices include threatening consumers with a wide variety of actions. You should know that most third party debt collectors will stop harassing and intimidating you, if you work with a licensed lawyer who specializes in handling cases involving a monumental consumer protection law.
Written into law by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes it illegal for bill collectors to harass and intimidate consumers. The FDCPA prohibits debt collection agencies from threatening to seize private property, as well as threatening to garnish consumer wages. Moreover, the powerful federal consume protection law bans the making of false statements regarding consumer debts.
Examples of False Statements
Under the FDCPA, a bill collector like Franklin Collection Service cannot claim to represent a law firm, when in fact the company does not handle any type of litigation. The FDCPA makes it unlawful for a third party debt collector to lie about the terms of a student loan agreement.
Some companies prey on the naivete of students by lying about the amount of interest owed each month and the penalties for making late payments. According to the FDCPA, lying about anything directly or indirectly to a consumer is considered a violation of federal consumer protection law. In addition, a company responsible for collecting consumer debts cannot lie about your debt to a third party, such as a friend or a family member.
How Do You Handle the False Statements Made by a Bill Collector?
In 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a ruling that dramatically changed the false statements provision of the FDCPA. You not only have to prove a debt collection agency made false statements; you also have to show the false statements negatively impacted your ability to evaluate personal financial options.
For example, Franklin Collection Service might claim to represent a law enforcement agency, which caused you to send the company more money than you were obligated to send.
Eligibility for Monetary Damages
The FDCPA contains a provision that gives consumers the legal power to file claims seeking monetary damages. For proving a third party debt collector made false statements, you might be eligible to receive statutory damages.
Congress capped the one-time financial award at $1,000. If the false statements issued by a third party debt collector caused you physical and/or emotional hardship, then you might qualify for actual damages that cover the pain and suffering caused by physical and emotional duress symptoms.
Team Up with an FDCPA Attorney
If you decide to file a claim against Franklin Collection Service, you can rest assured the bill collector will come to court with at least one highly successful lawyer. You need to level the legal playing field by working with an experienced FDCPA attorney. Most FDCPA lawyers encourage new clients to schedule free initial consultations to discuss the specifics of a case.
*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 Franklin Collection Service, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.