Before 1977, Federal laws did not prevent debt collection agencies from harassing and intimidating consumers. From threatening to garnish wages to using overly aggressive debt collection tactics that bordered on criminal behavior, the debt collection industry often crossed the legal line when it came to debt collection efforts.
That all changed on September 20, 1977, when the United States Congress passed what many legal scholars refer to as the ultimate consumer bill of rights.
Called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the federal consumer protection law bans dozens of previously legal debt collection tactics.
The FDCPA prohibits third party debt collectors from issuing threats of any kind, including threats to seize private property and threats to contact third parties regarding consumer debts. In addition, the FDCPA forbids bill collectors from making false statements.
What Constitutes a False Statement?
Any statement made by a debt collection agency that is not 100% truthful is considered by the FDCPA to be a false statement. The false statements can be made directly to consumers or to third parties that are affected by consumer debts.
For example, a third party debt collector such as Rash Curtis & Associates cannot provide any of the three major credit reporting bureaus with inaccurate information.
Some companies over inflate consumer debts, as well as lie about the status of an outstanding credit card or personal loan account. The most effective way to combat the false statements made by a company to Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion is to maintain accurate personal financial records.
What to Do if Rash Curtis & Associates Violates the FDCPA
The United States Congress wrote clear guidelines into the FDCPA concerning how consumers should handle violations of the landmark federal consumer protection law.
However, in 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a ruling that dramatically changed how consumers should handle the false statements made by third party debt collectors.
The decision requires consumers to show a direct link between the false statements made by a bill collector and the ability to evaluate options for making accurate financial decisions.
Are You Entitled to Damages?
According to a provision of the FDCPA, you have the right to seek monetary damages for the FDCPA violations committed by a third party debt collector. The FDCPA allows consumers to seek statutory damages, which represent a one-time financial award that cannot exceed $1,000.
Proving a bill collector violated the FDCPA requires the submission of compelling physical evidence. You can also seek financial relief in the form of having a debt collection agency cover your attorney fees.
The judge presiding over your case might provide injunctive relief, which is an order that forces a third party debt collector to stop contacting you at home and at work.
A FDCPA Lawyer Can Help
Hiring a licensed FDCPA attorney is a must if you want to win a claim filed in a civil court. Your FDCPA lawyer might file a lawsuit or instead, seek another legally acceptable remedy like sending a formal cease and desist notice to Rash Curtis & Associates.
Schedule a free initial consultation with an FDCPA attorney to learn about your legal options.
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*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 Rash Curtis & Associates, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.