Collection Agency Abuse

Debt Collection Abuse

Collection Abuse

Collection agencies are subject to a wide range of restrictions, many of which you might not be aware. Violations of these, whether you are in bankruptcy or not, may subject the collector to a fine, which can be as large as $1,000 per violation. Also, it is often possible for clients to recover attorney fees for bringing suit for FDCPA violations. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Are there some communications where debt collector did not indicate they are from a debt collector?  (15 U.S.C. §1692e(11))
  • Did the debt collector fail to send the debtor a validation notice within five days of the initial communication, either written or oral?  (15 U.S.C. §1692g)
  • If the debtor made a timely validation request (within the first 30 days of the initial communication from the debt collector), did the collector continue collection activities?  (15 U.S.C. §1692g)
  • Does the communication contain a false impression of the character, amount, or legal status of the alleged debt? (15 U.S.C. §1692e(2))
  • Does the communication give the false impression that any individual is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney? (15 U.S.C. §1692e(3))
  • Does the communication threaten to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken (e.g. suit, harm to credit reputation)? (15 U.S.C. §1692e(5))
  • Does the communication give the false impression that the debtor committed any crime or other conduct in order to disgrace the debtor? (15 U.S.C. §1692e(7))
  • Has the debt collector used any other false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the debt collection? (15 U.S.C. §1692e(10))
  • Does the debt collector attempt to collect any amount (including interest, attorney fees, collection costs or expenses) not authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law? (15 U.S.C. §1692f(1)
  • Has the debt collector taken or threatened to unlawfully repossess or disable the debtor’s property? (15 U.S.C. §1692f(6)
  • Does the debt collector use any other unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect the alleged debt (e.g., collecting time barred debts that are older than 6 years, filing suit without legal authority)? (15 U.S.C. §1692f)
  • Has the debt collector used or threatened the use of violence or other criminal means to harm the debtor or his/her property? (15 U.S.C. §1692d(1))
  • Has the debt collector used profane language or other abusive language? (15 U.S.C. §1692d(2))
  • Has the debt collector caused the phone to ring or engaged any person in telephone conversations repeatedly? (The telephone is hung up and collector calls back immediately?) (15 U.S.C. §1692d(5)
  • Has the debt collector engaged in any other conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of the alleged debt?(15 U.S.C. §1692d )
  • Has the debt collector communicated with the debtor after it knows the debtor to be represented by an attorney? (15 U.S.C. §1692c(a)(2))
  • Has the debt collector contacted the debtor’s place of employment when the debt collector knows or has reason to know that the debtor’s employer prohibits such communications (after the debtor told the debt collector to not call him/her at work)? (15 U.S.C. §1692c(a)(3))
  • Has the debt collector contacted the debtor after the debtor has notified the debt collector in writing that the debtor refuses to pay the debt or that the debtor wishes the debt collector to cease further communication? (15 U.S.C. §1692c(c))
  • In communications with persons other than the debtor, has the debt collector stated that the debtor owes any debt? (15 U.S.C. §1692b(2))
  • In communicating with persons other than the debtor, has the debt collector contacted that person more than once (unless requested to do so)? (15 U.S.C. §1692b(3)).

If you have experienced any of these collection agency abuses, please call or email me for a free, no-obligation analysis of your situation.

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