The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has two purposes: To protect consumers from harassment by debt collection agencies, and to protect law-abiding collection agencies from dishonest collection agencies.
How does the FDCPA do this?
The FDCPA sets strict guidelines for how collection agencies can do their job. First of all, collection agencies are not allowed to lie to debtors. For instance, a collector cannot say “We’re going to garnish your wages!” if they don’t actually intend to do that.
Collectors are also not allowed to swear or use obscene language when they contact you, nor are they allowed to threaten you, your reputation, or your property. This includes practices like sending you a postcard with information about your debt printed on it, because anyone could see that. Collectors are also not allowed to talk to anyone else about your debt. But, you can tell them to stop contacting you and speak to your attorney instead.
The FDCPA also regulates when a collector can call you, where a collector can call you, and how often a collector can call you. A debt collector cannot call you at an inconvenient time, such as before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., or in the middle of the night. A collector can also not call you at work if you ask them not to. The FDCPA does not put a specific limit on the number of times a collector can call you, as long as it cannot be considered “harassing.”
What you can do
You can sue the debt collection agency for violating your rights under the FDCPA.
How do I sue a collection agency?
Contact an experienced attorney to get your lawsuit underway. Since the FDCPA is a federal agency, a lawsuit against them will take place in the federal court system. This is why it’s important to have an attorney experienced in that system representing you. The debt collection attorneys at the Los Angeles offices of Cal West Law will get creditors off your back and give you peace of mind. Call today for a free consultation at (818) 446-1334.