Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) of 1978, consumers have protection. This gives consumers the right to sue debt collectors who are abusive. You can sue a debt collector if they do the following:

  • Call during strange hours
  • Harass or threaten you
  • Threaten to sue you
  • Threaten to embarrass you by calling family or friends
  • Continue to make collection efforts after you told them to discontinue
  • Make misleading statements in written collection notices
  • Report false information about you to the credit bureaus
  • Threaten to send you to jail or threaten to set criminal charges against you if you fail to pay
  • Contacting relatives, children, parents, employers, friends and reveal your debt information
  • Make untrue statements regarding the debts they are collecting

According to the FDCPA, consumers have more rights with a collection agency who is normally hired to collect debt by the actual credit card issuer. The maximum that you can recover against a creditor for any of the FDCA violations, actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees is $1,000. Damages include financial loss as a result of psychological or medical trauma, as well as a wrongly reduced credit score.  Credit score has a major impact on getting approved for all kinds of loans, and everybody knows that financing a car from buy here pay here lots catering to bad credit buyers can cost much more than auto loans with good credit

Many bill collectors work in cubicles with a computer and telephone. They are basically paid to get as much money out of a debtor as possible. Bill collectors are given scripts and many are pushed onto the phones without training in order to fill the needs of the business. Some bill collection agencies pay their employees an incentive if they collect a certain amount of money from debtors. Often times, bill collectors will do anything to force a debtor to "pay up", even if it means violating the FDCPA.

Should You Hire an FDCPA Attorney?

If you feel that a collection agency has violated the FDCPA guidelines, an experienced FDCPA attorney can help you fight for your rights. You may be eligible to receive money for damages such as medical or psychological traumas -- including financial loss due to an unfairly reduced credit score.