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What Is FDCPA?

Protecting Consumers from Creditor Abuse

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal statute that oversees the debt collection agencies and credit reporting laws. Its purpose is to protect consumers from abusive practices and tactics by debt collectors. Its goal is also to decrease bankruptcy filings by means of ensuring that collection methods are done in a fair and non-threatening way. The act protects consumer debt accumulated for the benefit of the individual, household or family. It does not cover tax debt or business related debt. If abuse occurs, consumers may be eligible to statutory damages, such as the following:

  • Monetary compensation of up to $1,000
  • Medical costs
  • Accounting costs
  • Legal costs
  • Emotional and physical anxiety and distress

FDCPA Protects Consumers in Arizona

Debt collection agencies have developed various ways to make consumers with debt pay up. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the following measures for collecting are in violation of consumers' rights:

  • Harassment: Making calls repeatedly throughout the day, making calls too early or too late in the day, making abusive statements, using profane language, shouting
  • False statements: Misleading or lying with the attempt to collect
  • Threats
  • Contacting the consumer after he or she has secured legal representation and has informed the collection agency
  • Improper disclosure: Contact family members, friends or co-workers to disclose debt information
  • Contacting the consumer after he or she has requested the collection agency cease contact, in the form of a letter
  • Unfairness: Adding late fees, interest or collection charges to the debt unless the initial agreement has authorized it
  • Payment on debt: Collecting agencies can only apply payments of debt as directed by the debtor

There is also a strict procedure for notifying a consumer of his or her debt that must be respected. When the consumer is contacted, the debt collection agency must send a written notice through the mail that will include all relevant information, such as:

  • Debt amount
  • Name of creditor
  • Statement notifying the debtor that they have 30 days to dispute the debt, otherwise it is considered valid
  • Any part of the debt challenged by the debtor will be verified by the collection agency, and followed through with a mailed notice of the verification
  • Every new debt collection agency must provide its own notice

Exercise Your Legal Rights!

Financial hardship can already lead to mental anguish and physical illness. Debt collection agency abuse only adds to the stress and makes it even harder to rectify your financial situation. The firm will help cease the abuse and can provide sound legal advice with regards to your financial future. If you are the victim of debt collection abuse due to your inability to pay your debts, it is advised to seek immediate legal representation. The team at Price Law Group can diligently explain the legal options available to you to fight back. With over 20 years of experience helping clients with bankruptcy, the firm's dedication to offering strong legal counsel can help you improve your financial situation.

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