Unfortunately, debt is often considered taboo, even though many Americans owe funds. Unfortunately, this only grows worse when the debt moves to collections, as you will likely be contacted by a debt collector. If this occurs, it can cause stress and anxiety, especially if they violate the rules set in place. If this occurs, you may have grounds to sue the debt collector with the assistance of a California debt collection harassment lawyer. The following blog explores when a lawsuit may be warranted and why it’s in your best interest to seek legal counsel.
Do Debt Collectors Have to Follow Rules?
When a debt moves to collections, many lenders will hire a third-party agency to collect the debt on their behalf However, these agencies must follow federal laws known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These laws outline the acceptable behaviors when interacting with consumers. As such, the following actions are violations of this act:
- Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Repeatedly calling in a short time
- Calling while the debtor is at work after they’ve told the collector they can not take personal calls at work
- Speaking to anyone other than the debtor or their attorney about the funds
- Publishing their name as a debtor online or in a newspaper
- Misrepresenting themselves as a lawyer or law enforcement
- Threatening to sue the debtor if they have no intention of doing so
It’s important to understand that if a debt collector begins harassing you, you cannot contact the police, as they will inform you the collector is within their right to pursue compensation and to contact an attorney if you need further assistance. The only exception is if they threaten you or your loved ones with physical violence.
Can I Sue a Debt Collector for Violating the FDCPA?
If a debt collector violates any of the laws associated with the FDCPA, you are likely eligible to file a lawsuit. Generally, you can sue for up to $1,000 in statutory damages for each violation committed against you, but you can also sue for damages. Essentially, if you suffered as a result of the debt collector’s actions, such as losing your job because they repeatedly called you while you were on the job or caused emotional distress, you may be entitled to additional damages.
However, proving non-economic damages like emotional distress or loss of enjoyment of life can be challenging. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss the circumstances.
At Loker Law, APC, we understand how complex these matters can be. That’s why our dedicated team will do everything possible to help you through these challenging matters. Contact us today to learn how we can help you handle a debt collector in violation of the rules and regulations.