Before September 20, 1977, debt collectors acted like the gunslingers who wreaked havoc on innocent citizens living in the wild, wild west. Nothing was out of play as far as collecting debts was concerned.
Abusive language at work, threatening calls at home, and deceptive strategies to collect debts put consumers in difficult financial positions.
In response to the outcry for consumer protections against unsavory third party debt collectors, the United States Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA clearly forbids abuse, threats, and deception in the collection of debts by third party debt collectors.
However, many third party debt collectors do not follow the legal guidelines mandated by the FDCPA.
Threats are Prohibited Under the FDCPA
Although debt collectors are not technically considered loan sharks, some third party debt collectors resort to tactics that follow the loan shark playbook. No, we are not talking about physical threats, although sometimes desperate third party debt collectors threaten consumers with violence.
We are talking about the threat to seize your property. Under the FDCPA, any third party debt collector that threatens a consumer has violated the law. This includes the threat to take away your home.
To force a consumer to take a threat seriously, a debt collector might impersonate a representative from the lender that approved your loan. The debt collector has now violated two provisions of the FDCPA.
Threatening you is a violation, as is using deception to collect a debt. When a third part debt collector threatens to seize your property, your next move should be to contact a licensed attorney who specializes in consumer protection law.
How an Attorney Can Help You
The sooner, the better is especially relevant for consumers that receive threats from third party debt collectors. Taking legal action with a sense of urgency increases the likelihood of a quick and satisfactory resolution of your FDCPA case.
Your consumer protection law attorney will ask you about the details of the threats, from when the third party debt collector made the threats to exactly what was said or written.
Although it is difficult to prove what was said during a phone conversation, your attorney can at least ask for records from the telephone company validating the calls took place. You might hit the legal jackpot if you can prove property seizure threats by presenting emails sent by the debt collector.
Damages Granted by the FDCPA
By legal jackpot, we mean the actual damages you are eligible to receive because a third party debt collector threatened to seize your property. You might have suffered physical and/or emotional distress that caused you to missed time at work.
Unlike statutory damages, the FDCPA does not limit the amount of money you can win in actual damages. The limit on statutory damages is $1,000.
Receiving threats from a third party debt collector is a serious legal matter. Fill out the evaluation form today to speak with a FDCPA attorney.