When you are in debt, it can feel like the world is out to get you. However, it’s essential to understand that you do not need to suffer abuse at the hands of a debt collector. Many in debt assume because they owe funds, they have no rights, which is far from the truth. It’s necessary to familiarize yourself with common debt collection violations and how to proceed if you are a victim. The following blog explores what you must know and how a Los Angeles debt defense lawyer can assist if facing harassment.
Are There Rules Debt Collectors Must Follow?
In centuries past, debtor’s prisons were all too common. Luckily, these no longer exist. However, some debt collection agencies still act as though debtors are heinous criminals. As such, there are laws in place to protect consumers from unfair behaviors from collectors.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) is one of the most essential consumer laws, as it places strict limitations on how and when debt collectors can interact with consumers. It is important to note that this generally only covers personal debts and third-party collectors.
What Debt Collection Violations Should I Know About?
If you owe a debt and have had interactions with a collector, it’s essential to know whether or not their behavior is acceptable according to the FDCPA. Generally, there are limitations on when they can contact you, who they can speak to, how they can speak to you, and other regulations on communication.
Common examples of collector violations include:
- Contacting you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Repeatedly calling you in a short period of time
- Talking to anyone other than you or your attorney about your debt
- Posting your name online or in other public spaces claiming you are a debtor
- Contacting you at work after you’ve informed them you cannot take personal calls on the job
- Pretending to be a member of law enforcement or an attorney
- Threatening legal action against you or to have you arrested
- Misrepresenting the amount owed
What Can I Do if a Collector Violates the Law?
If a debt collector has violated the FDCPA, you must understand that you do not have to endure harassment or abuse. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the collector to recover statutory and actual damages. Generally, a violation of the FDCPA awards up to $1,000 per offense. Additionally, if you’ve suffered damages like anxiety or loss of enjoyment of life because of the harassment, you can pursue additional damages.
If you’re being harassed by a debt collector, it’s important to understand that you have rights. At Los Angeles Legal Solutions, we will do everything possible to assist you during this challenging time. Contact us today to learn more.