Collection Practices That Violate The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
There are several things that a debt collector cannot do under the FDCPA. They cannot:
o Call before 8am or after 9pm
o Call at work, provided the debt collector is aware your employer doesn't approve of these phone calls
o Harass, oppress, or abuse
o Lie or falsely imply that a person has committed a crime
o Use unfair practices in an attempt to collect a debt
o Conceal his or her identity on the phone
o Disregard a written request to cease further contact
o Give out information on a debt to anyone but debtor and spouse
o Tell someone other than debtor and spouse that a debtor owes a debt
How to Dispute a Debt
Within 30 days of the creditor's initial communication with you about the debt, send a certified letter to the creditor stating why you dispute the debt. The initial communication you receive about the debt is important because it may be the only time you receive detailed information about it. Do not ignore the initial communication if you believe that you don't owe the debt.
Remedies for Unfair Collection Practices
The statute of limitations is one year from the date of the violation to file a lawsuit against the debt collector. Penalty is $1,000 in addition to actual damages and attorney fees. Keep a good record of the time, date and all details of any action you feel is unfair under the Act. Contact a local attorney who handles FDCPA claims. Sometimes a collector will commit 5 or 10 violations, making it worthwhile to file a lawsuit.