What Happens if a Debt Collector Pursues Illegal or Unauthorized Fees?

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When you’re in debt, harassment from a collector is likely the last thing you need. However, many often engage in shady and illegal methods, including repeatedly contacting you or adding additional funds to the debt you owe. If this is the case, you may not know whether you should fight these tactics or pay the unauthorized fees and move on. This blog explores what funds the collector has the legal authority to pursue and how a Los Angeles, California debt defense lawyer can help you.

What Can a Collector Pursue?

A collector is only allowed to pursue the funds authorized in the agreement. As such, any additional fees not covered in your contract are unauthorized and should not be pursued. For example, if the amount they claim you owe is off by a few hundred dollars, the collector may be scamming you out of additional money to keep for themselves. They may also claim the discrepancy is caused by collection or convenience fees.

However, it is necessary to note that if your agreement permits interest on the debt you owe, a collector can pursue these funds in addition to the original amount in your contract. If there is a discrepancy between what you believe you owe and what the collector claims you owe, you should check your original agreement. It should document the interest rates you can accrue over the course of your loan.

What Should I Do if a Debt Collector is Pursuing Unauthorized Fees?

If you discover that a debt collector is pursuing funds you do not owe in addition to the debt you do owe, this is likely a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). As such, you may be able to pursue legal action against this fraudulent collector.

The FDCPA protects consumers from unfair, fraudulent, and deceptive debt collection practices. While many assume it only shields from abusive or threatening tactics, this is untrue. This act helps prevents collectors from pursuing unauthorized charges like convenience fees or the cost of collection. Similarly, this act makes it illegal for collectors to misrepresent the debt, including how much you owe.

For each FDCPA violation, you can file a lawsuit against the collector within one year of the offense. Generally, you can hold them liable for damages like lost wages or mental anguish as a result of their deceitful collection practices. Similarly, you may be able to file a suit for statutory damages. You can collect up to $1,000 per FDCPA violation, even if you cannot prove harm.

When you’re the victim of unfair collection practices, it’s essential to understand your rights. At LA Legal Solutions, we believe those who violate the law and take advantage of unassuming consumers should be held accountable. As such, we will work tirelessly to fight for you. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.

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