Damage classification and FDCPA violations

When it comes to FDCPA violations and damages, the FDCPA classifies damages into the following categories:

  1. Monetary damages. This includes payments made on time-barred debt, attorney fees and long distance phone fees.
  2. Actual damages. When a consumer experiences psychological damages incurred by the consumer including psychological damages such as stress, emotional and mental problems.  A person may also experience emotional damages such as emotional paralysis, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, hysteria, nervousness, etc.
  3. Statutory damages.  When a consumer is able to prove that a bill collector, collection attorney or collection agency is violating the FDCPA rules, a consumer can be awarded up to $1,000 in an FDCPA claim.

Determining Attorney’s Fees

There are normally three types of ways that attorney’s decide to charge their clients for their services. The fees all depend on the kind of case they represent in court.  This includes the following:

  • Hourly fees
    • Many FDCPA attorneys charge clients on an hourly basis. In addition to an hourly fee, an attorney can also charge a retainer fee.
  • Fixed fee basis
    • This is when an attorney charges a fixed fee on the following services: drafting a contract, real estate deeds, minor criminal matters, bankruptcy cases, traffic offenses, real estate titles, etc.
  • Contingency basis
    • This is when an attorney will charge a percentage of the total amount of an award. Attorneys usually charge on a contingency basis for workman’s compensation, Social Security issues, personal injury and civil rights cases.