Suing Debt Collectors
Want To Stop Abusive Debt Collectors? Suing Them Is A Good Start….
Are you one of the many Alabama consumers dealing with debt collectors who sometimes, and even often, break the law?
If so, then you are likely dealing with some of the problems caused by abusive debt collectors.
Dealing with abusive debt collectors can be very frustrating. Worrying about the phone ringing when you have someone visiting your home. Or a friend wondering why you don’t answer your ringing cell phone.
Wondering if the knock on the door is a sheriff’s deputy serving you with a debt collection lawsuit.
Worrying about what kind of stuff will be on your credit report.
So, what can you do?
We should pay our bills that we legally owe. No one questions this.
So, if you don’t owe the debt being collected on, why would you pay it?
And if you do owe it, but the collector is breaking the law, still do your best to pay the debt but consider suing the debt collector. Never let anyone fool you — even if you owe the debt, the law still protects from abusive debt collection.
So what do we mean by obeying the collection laws? We are primarily talking about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (discussed on our page “Illegal Collection Calls To Cell Phones”)
When Does The FDCPA Apply?
The FDCPA applies when all of the following exist:
2. The debt being collected on is not a business debt — instead it is a household or personal debt;
3. The company calling you, writing you, or credit reporting against you is a debt collector — not the original creditor; and
4. The debt collector violates the FDCPA as we will discuss next.
OK, So What Violates The FDCPA?
Under the FDCPA, the collector is prohibited from the following general areas of misconduct:
1. Lying to you;
2. Being unfair to you; and
3. Treating you with a lack of respect or dignity.
Here are some examples:
- Collectors calling your neighbors or co-workers or family (other than your spouse) except under very limited circumstances;
- Illegal calls or voicemails that do not contain the “Mini-Miranda” which is where the debt collector identifies themselves as debt collectors and that they are attempting to collect a debt;
- Illegal collection calls to your work after the collector has been told you cannot receive these types of calls at work;
- Not properly reporting to the credit bureaus that you dispute the debt;
- Collecting on debt that you have discharged through bankruptcy;
- Calling you for someone else, especially after you have told the collector to stop;
- Illegal threats to sue you, garnish you, etc. by collectors;
- Harrassing calls in general;
- Five different forms of dirty tricks (illegal) collectors commit against your credit reports; and
- Five common types of abusive debt collection practices.
Actually, no, abusive debt collection agencies laugh at letters. But they don’t laugh at lawsuits. Lawsuits get their attention.
Lawsuits shut down the illegal phone calls and harassment.
So suing debt collectors who break the law in order to get them to correct false information is a wonderful reason to do so….
Second, it helps protect other consumers. If you don’t sue abusive collectors, they will decide they can continue on breaking the law. Also, when you sue it not only protects other consumers, but it also protects the honest, law abiding debt collectors.
Finally, if you have been the victim of an abusive debt collector, you should receive money damages. The FDCPA allows you to do this and will allow the judge to require the abusive collection agency to pay for your lawyer fees.
So, What Do I Do Next If I Have Been The Victim Of Debt Collection Abuse And I Live In Alabama?
If you live in Alabama and you have or are dealing with an abusive debt collector, then we applaud you for taking action.
You can request our free book on Stopping Abusive Debt Collectors or if you are ready to meet with us, please give us a call at 205-879-2447 or fill out our contact form. We’ll be glad to chat with you and go over your options so you can make the best decision for your unique situation.
We look forward to helping you.