How to Sue Debt Collectors for FDCPA Violations
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (1978) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive practices to recoup the money. Debt collectors are third-party entities such as collection agencies, investment firms, and lawyers. Note that authorized representatives of the debt issuing company do not classify as third-party debt collectors.
You can sue a debt collector within one year of when the collector violated the FDCPA. You can sue for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and attorney fees. Even if you cannot prove the damages, you can still be awarded up to $1,000!
What are FDCPA Violations?
Debt collectors violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when they:
- Contact you before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
- Threaten to use violence and hurt you
- Harass you with incessant calls
- Use offensive language that violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (1964)
Act in a deceptive manner:
- Collect more than you owed
- Pretend to be a law enforcement officer such as a police officer
- Threaten you with police arrests
Treat you unfairly:
- Disclose your debt history to a third party aside from your creditor, your attorney, or the creditor’s attorney
- Deposit a post-dated check early
What are Debtors’ Rights?
If you are in debt, you should understand your rights and the government agencies in place to protect you. Upon meeting a debt collector, you are entitled to:
- Retrieve a means of identification.
- Request for the creditor they represent.
- Request for the amount of debt they are collecting.
- Ask for a 30-day window to verify the claim of debt.
- Request for a transfer of debt notice if a new creditor has inherited your debt.
Which Government Agencies Protect Debtors?
|Government Agency||How they can help you|
|The Better Business Bureau (BBB)||The BBB can help in the process of mediation between you and the debt collector. However, they cannot help you sue your debt collector.|
|The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)||The CFPB can investigate your complaint and punish the debt collector if your claim is valid.|
|The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)||The FTC can help you stop incessant calls from your debt collector, especially when you have a standing do-not-call order, or you have placed your number on the national do not call registry.|
What are the Benefits of Suing a Debt Collector?
If you win your case, you may expect the following compensation:
- Cost of actual damages you suffered from, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. Even if you don’t have evidence to prove your damages, you may still be awarded up to $1,000 by the judge.
- Punitive damages of $1,000 or more.
- Legal costs such as attorney fees.
Sue Debt Collectors With DoNotPay
Can’t afford an attorney to protect your rights? Let DoNotPay do the work for you! You can file a small claims suit against the debt collector at the comfort of your home by following 4 simple steps:
- Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Enter the type or value of compensation you seek
- Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including evidence
That’s it! DoNotPay will then generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you. We’ll also mail a copy of your demand letter to the debt collector on your behalf!
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