How to Sue a Debt Collector and Win

Editorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

Can I Sue A Debt Collector?

Debt collectors use several methods to pursue delinquent debtors. Unfortunately, some of these methods contravene the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCP) and state laws protecting consumers from unfair debt collection practices, including harassment. If you believe the actions of a debt collection agency amount to harassment, you can take steps to .

DoNotPay can help with this process. We can help you determine whether your debt collector is compliant with the FDCPA and specific state laws. We'll also help you decide the appropriate course of action to take and contact the debt collectors with a demand letter on your behalf, asking them to stop their behavior. If you choose to report the collection agency to the CFPB instead, we'll file the complaint on your behalf.

What Is the FDCPA?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that limits the practices of third-party debt collectors collecting debts from delinquent borrowers on behalf of creditors. The law provides guidelines on the way collectors should contact debtors, the time of the day to make the call, and the number of times contact should be made. If you determine the FDCPA has been violated, you can for damages. The FDCPA covers several types of loans such as:

  • Credit card debt
  • Medical bills
  • Student loans
  • Mortgages

What Are Your Rights When Dealing With Debt Collectors

When dealing with a debt collection agency, it is worth remembering that you have protections under the law. The following are the practices that the FDCPA prohibit debt collectors from doing:

  • Speak to other people about your debt without your permission, or threaten to do so
  • Call before 8 AM or after 9 PM
  • Contact you at work after asking them not to do so
  • Harass or abuse you or anyone else they contact about you
  • Lie about the amount you owe

How to Remove Collections Off of Your Credit Report

The maximum period a debt collection can stay on your credit report is seven years. Ideally, a collection account can lower your credit score and prevent you from getting a mortgage or auto loan. Unfortunately, you can pay a collection and still have it shown on your credit report with the reporting bureaus changing the account to a paid collection. However, it is possible to remove collections from your credit report. Use the following methods to remove collections and improve your score:

Send a goodwill letterIf you have paid a collection or have been making regular on-time payments, consider sending a goodwill letter explaining your situation and asking for a collection account to be removed from your credit report.
Dispute the collectionIf you found errors with a collection or if the statute of limitation on collecting the debt has passed, consider disputing the collection.
Request validationWrite to the collection agency and ask it to validate your debt if you find inaccuracies.
Negotiate with a creditorNegotiate a pay-for-delete agreement with your original creditor.

How to Deal With a Debt Collector Calling on Your Own

If you have decided to take on a debt collector on your own, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Once you receive the validation letter from the debt collection agency, take time to go through it. Notably, errors are common with debt collection. Check and verify all information is correct and up to date. Check the amount owed, what the debt was for, and the collector's identity.
  2. If there are any unanswered questions or you need to be provided with further information, file a debt verification request.
  3. Once you verify the debt, you can choose to do the following:
  • Pay off the debt
  • Ask for the debt collector to stop contacting you.
  • Specify how you want the debt collector to communicate with you, whether it's through your lawyer or asking them not to call you at work
  • Report them to the FTC and CFPB for unethical debt collection practices if you believe they've violated the FDCPA.

Understandably, the DIY method to respond to debt collection is long and tedious. DoNotPay can help you save valuable time on this process. Through our new debt collection product, we will contact any New York debt collectors with a demand letter on your behalf asking for verification or that they stop the collection. If you choose to report the collection agency to the CFPB instead, we'll file the complaint on your behalf.

Solve Debt Collections Issues With the Help of DoNotPay

DoNotPay can help you deal with a debt collector who has been harassing you. We will determine if the collector is compliant with the FDCPA. We will also determine whether the debt is still within the statute of limitations provided by the state law. After guiding you through a series of questions, we'll help you decide which course of action you should take and contact the debt collectors with a demand letter on your behalf.

Here is how to get started:

  1. Search “debt collection” on DoNotPay.

  2. Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.

  3. Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.

And that's it! Once you choose the course of action you want to take, DoNotPay will handle the rest. We'll deliver your request directly to the debt collectors via first-class mail or file your complaint automatically with the CFPB so that they're no longer able to use unfair debt collection practices.

Let DoNotPay Help You Deal With Debt Collections

Handling financial issues is stressful enough. If a debt collector is harassing you using outlawed methods, it can worsen matters. However, you don't have to deal with debt collectors alone.

Through our new product, we will find out whether the actions of a debt collector contravene the law. We will also guide you on the next steps to take to protect your rights.

DoNotPay can also help you with the following issues or questions that you may have:

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