You receive a letter in the mail from a debt collection agency demanding payment on an outstanding credit card or personal loan account. The letter ends with the statement that if you do not take care of the debt, the third party debt collector will contact the three major credit reporting bureaus to inform the agencies of your financial situation.
Stress and anxiety immediately overwhelm you and over the course of a few days, you make a few financial decisions that you would not have made if the bill collector had not threaten to contact Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Did Medicredit make false statements regarding your debt? If you answered yes, you should know a federal consumer protection law prohibits the issuing of false statements by a debt collection agency.
Making False Statements is against the Law
Enacted by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes it illegal for third party debt collectors to implement overly aggressive debt collection tactics. A company like Medicredit is barred from harassing you over the phone, which can include calling you at odd hours of the day. The FDCPA allows bill collectors to contact consumers only between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm.
Another provision of the FDCPA forbids companies from making false statements. In the example that described a bill collector threatening to contact the three primary credit reporting agencies, the third party debt collector was out of line by making the false statement.
If you fail to pay off a financial obligation within a legally decreed period as specified by law, then your financial information automatically goes to the big three credit reporting bureaus. A bill collector is not allowed by law to pass on your personal financial information to any other person or organization.
False Statements Must be “Material”
The false statements provision of the FDCPA received a major change in 2018. A ruling issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit declared consumers much do more than simply prove a bill collector made false statements.
You now have to show the false statements were “material” in affecting your ability to evaluate financial options. For example, if the false statements made by a debt collection agency caused you to tap into a retirement account, then the false statements might be considered “material” to how you made financial decisions.
Are You Entitled to Monetary Damages?
Under the FDCPA, consumers have the right to file lawsuits that seek just compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a third party debt collector. Just compensation refers to actual damages, such as the cost of treating physical and/or emotional duress symptoms.
Proving the existence of physical and/or emotional distress symptoms and linking the symptoms to the false statements made by a bill collector require the legal expertise of a licensed federal consumer protection attorney who specializes in handling FDCPA cases. Your FDCPA attorney will present convincing physical evidence that includes medical documentation of your ailments.
Never allow a debt collection agency to get away with making false statements regarding your debt. Schedule a free initial consultation today with a highly rated FDCPA lawyer.
*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 Medicredit, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.