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FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that protects consumers from abusive debt collection practices. Because of the size of the debt collection industry, violations of the FDCPA are frighteningly common and it is imperative that consumers are familiar with their rights under this statute. Under the FDCPA, a consumer is entitled to statutory damages, actual damages, emotional distress damages and attorney’s fees and costs. Therefore, there is plenty of incentive for both a consumer and an attorney to take these cases on.
The most common violations
of the FDCPA include but are not limited to the following actions taken by debt collectors or debt collection law firms:
When bringing an FDCPA action, the most important aspect of a consumer’s claim is the type of evidence that the consumer is able to present. The type of evidence will differ depending on the type of violation at issue. This can include a copy of a collection letter, a dunning letter showing an improper balance, screenshots of harassing phone calls, voicemail recordings and many other items. A claim which lacks evidence is not meritless on its face but it severely decreases the likelihood for a successful outcome for the consumer.
Pursuing an FDCPA Claim:
Attorneys may differ on how they choose to bring an FDCPA claim against a collection entity but there are some uniform steps that are usually taken. For starters, most attorneys will send a demand letter to the opposing party to see if the claim can be resolved without the need for litigation. If the opposing party does not respond or the pre-litigation efforts prove fruitless, a complaint can be filed in federal court or state court if that state court has something called unlimited subject matter jurisdiction.