ILLEGAL DEBT COLLECTION TACTICS
Did you know that there is a federal law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that makes it illegal for debt collectors to engage in any activity that is considered to be abusive, deceptive or unfair?
If you feel that a debt collector has violated your rights, you should contact our office right away for a free consultation. We can help you determine whether filing a lawsuit against the debt collector is possible and appropriate, and explain what type of compensation may be recoverable as a result of the unlawful behavior.
The FDCPA was aware of the fact that people being contacted by debt collectors would likely not have the resources to hire an attorney on their own, and thus the law provides that a debt collector is required pay your attorney’s fees and costs associated with brining the lawsuit, if you win your case. This means that Graham & Borgese will work for free, unless you win your case.
Has a Collector Crossed the Line?
Sometimes it’s easy to identify unlawful collection activity, such as name-calling, obvious lies or threats of violence. However, nowadays the vast majority of debt collectors are well-versed in collection laws, and as a result, they have become very skilled at hiding activity that may cross the line. This can make it very difficult for an untrained eye to spot. That is why we recommend speaking to one of our experienced attorneys for a comprehensive evaluation.
Below are just some examples of the type of conduct that is prohibited by the FDCPA:
Abuse or Harassment:
- Using swear words or threating to take action that cannot lawfully be taken;
- Calling someone (even someone who doesn’t owe the debt, such as a family member or a wrong number) excessively; and
- Calling someone who owes the debt, but then refusing (or simply failing) to provide them with the collection agency’s name or true identity.
False or Deceptive Conduct:
- Lying about the amount of money actually owed;
- Misrepresenting when a collector has the ability, or authority, to have someone arrested, garnish their wages, take their home, etc.; and
- Misleading someone to believe that a collector is an attorney, when he/she is not.
- Adding fees, costs and/or interest to the balance of an alleged debt, even though there is no written agreement or law permitting them to do so; and
- Depositing a post-dated check before the date listed on the check (as this can cause someone’s bank account to bounce and result in penalties, late fees, overdraft fees, and even affect payment of other bills, etc.).
If you would like to know what options you have to fight back against an abusive, deceptive or unfair debt collection agency, contact our law firm today to tell us about your situation and we will put our experience and knowledge to work for you. Serving Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and New York City areas