Debt Help Video #7
Responding To Illegal Debt Collection Practices
Hi. Welcome to part three in our video series on debt collection, debt management, and credit management. I am Nevada Licensed Debt Adjuster and Loan Modification Specialist Damian Falcone In parts one and two we provided debt help on the subject of debt collector’s rights and responsibilities under Federal Law, as well as your rights in dealing with debt collectors. In this third segment we are going to provide debt help in talking about what actions you can take if a debt collector blatantly breaks the rules.
This is Get Settled - your source for consumer debt help and debt settlement information. As always, for even more information, go to www.falconcreditmanagement.com.
In the first part of the debt collection series, the main focus of our discussion was providing debt help on what a debt collector must do, and what it must not do. For example, a debt collector must: send you written notification at the outset of their collection efforts that you have 30 days to request validation of a debt; a debt collector must honor your request to cease communication; and a debt collector must identify themselves in each communication with you. We also talked about things that a debt collector must not do: they must not contact you at inconvenient times or places, such as early morning or late at night, or at your place of employment; they must not use abuse or harassment in their communications with you; and they must cease communications with you when requested.
Unfortunately, not all collection agencies follow these rules, and there are consequences for that failure. You will remember that debt collection is governed by a federal law known as FDCPA. This law provides that a debt collector can be legally liable for any violation of the FDCPA. This means that if they violate the rules we have talked about, they can be sued and forced to pay money to those who have been injured by their actions, whether any valid debt is owed or not.
Even when you are subjected to minor forms of illegal collection actions, you can sue the collector and recover up to $1,000 in statutory damages and all of your attorney’s fees as well as any actual damages you suffer. Making sure to keep a record of all out of pocket expenses related to resolving the dispute. These could include telephone charges, transportation costs, medical bills, and time missed from work. I provide more detailed debt help in our episode on documenting collection agents
It is also important to document each violation of the collection laws. A pen and paper should be kept by the phone to record any abusive or inappropriate phone calls. Write down as many details as you can remember, and make sure to save any messages left on an answering machine.
Once you have your evidence gathered you can use it against the debt collector as an additional tool to help you negotiate. Otherwise, seek out the advice of a licensed attorney to discuss the filing of a potential lawsuit or any other debt help that may be available. The law is on your side, so do not be afraid to use it.