Fair Debt Collect Act Violation, what now?

In 2002 I became disabled & was unable to pay a credit card debt. The company refused to negotiate so I contacted an attorney. She supposedly resolved the matter. The company sold the "debt". In the last 2 years I received 3 letters. They did not state any amount. For the last 2 years I've received at least 2 calls a day.. (shows on my calIer ID). I told them the first company sold them the account fraudently--it was 9 yrs ago. The person got very aggressive so I told her not to call again. I got another call & gave him my attorney's name.. Yet he stated that the debt has been "renewed", meaning "started over" (?), and that I now owe twice as much. I never acknowledged a debt. If they can be fined, how can this be done? I live in another state.What if it goes against my credit rating?

Milton-freewater, OR -

Attorney Answers (2)

Young Walgenkim

Young Walgenkim

Lemon Law Attorney - Salem, OR
Answered

Your situation involves possible FDCPA and Oregon's Unlawful Debt Collection Practices Act (UDCPA).

First, the collector must send you a written Validation Notice (demand letter) that shows the amount owed. Second, if you tell the collector that you are represented, they cannot contact you except through your lawyer.

Oregon has a 6 year statute of limitations on credit card debt, so if it has been over 6 years after your last payment, the debt will be past the statute of limitations. They can still attempt to collect, but they can't sue you over the debt unless you renew the statutory period by making a payment.

First thing I would do is to call your attorney and find out from him if he received a letter of release. Sending a copy of that letter will usually make them stop. Second, if your attorney is not familiar with the FDCPA or UDCPA, I would call a consumer lawyer. Third, check your credit report to see if you have any negative marks from the collector. If so, you can contact your Credit Reporting Agency and dispute the negative info. Finally, don't be afraid to dispute the debt if it is not correct. Be sure to dispute in writing within 30 days of the validation notice.

And yes, there is a one year statute of limitations on both FDCPA and UDCPA claims.

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Andrea L Crawford

Andrea L Crawford

Debt Collection Attorney - Anthem, AZ
Answered

You need to speak to a local consumer law attorney who handles FDCPA violations ASAP. You should be prepared to provide the attorney everything you have on this debt and the collection efforts. There is only a 1 year statute of limitations on FDCPA violations.

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