FDCPA Judgments against a Collection Agency

Consumers can file FDCPA claims against a debt collector and be awarded for damages caused by improper practices. In addition, a consumer can also file a private lawsuit at the federal or state level. As a consumer, you don’t have to prove “actual damages” to be awarded money.

The most that you can win in a FDCPA case is $1,000. Keep in mind that you will be given 1 year to file a FDCPA claim in court. The collection agency may be held liable for $500,000 or 1% of what your original debt was -- whichever amount is smaller of the two. A debt collector may also be liable for actual damages resulting from the decision of the court.

Actual Damages

Actual damages are psychological or physiological damages caused by harassment or abuse from a debt collector. Here are the categories of actual damages to remember:

  • Damages from deliberate imposed emotional distress to force payment from the consumer or their immediate family members.
  • Monetary damage such as charges for long distance calls from calling a debt collector in order for them to call a consumer back.
  • Attorney’s fees from a prior lawsuit from FDCPA violations
  • Incurred payments from a time-barred debt
  • Threatening to seize a consumer’s personal property in an illegal manner
  • Threatening to file criminal charges against a consumer


  • Common stress-related injuries include the following:
  • Diabetic flare-ups
  • Embarrassment and/or humiliation
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Hysteria
  • Unable to concentrate at work
  • Pain, and suffering
  • Nightmares, Insomnia, night sweats and much more
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