Consumer debt and the FDCPA
Consumer debt and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that prohibits harassing, abusive, and deceptive conduct by debt collectors. Collection agencies that violate the FDPCA can be liable to consumers for statutory damages, even if the consumer suffered no actual harm. Actual damages for emotional harm such as stress and embarrassment are also recoverable. The FDCPA is a fee-shifting statute, which means that your consumer protection attorney’s legal fees will be paid by the offending debt collector if you’re successful. Most of the time, there is no cost to the consumer.
Consumer debt is money owed for personal, family and household obligations. Consumers that have fallen behind on repaying credit cards, personal loans, medical or utility debts, or mortgages may be contacted by a debt collector for payment. Sometimes, consumers are contacted by debt collectors because an error was made on their account. Whether a debt is owed or not, consumers have the right to be free from deceptive, unfair and abusive debt collection tactics on the part of debt collectors, collection agencies, or law firms acting as debt collectors.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Federal law, The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), provides consumers with several protections and allows a consumer to sue a debt collector for violating the law. Consumers can sue the collector for actual and punitive damages who violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Additionally, the law provides that the consumer’s attorney’s fees will be paid by the debt collector.