Does State Or Federal Law Govern Debt Collections?
If you are unable to meet your monthly obligations as they become due, you may be facing a foreclosure or wage garnishment. The hardship these circumstances can create on you and your family is great, and this is all the more true when a debt collector engages in harsh or abusive debt collection practices. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect consumers from harassment through debt collection, and if you are a victim of harassment you should stand up for yourself.
While each state has its own version of consumer protection laws in place, the main law that governs debt collections is federal. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits the following things:
● Misleading communication from a debt collector.
- A misstatement about the amount due, or a demand for immediate payment. You are required to be given 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt, and also to ask for identification of the original creditor.
- Abusive or harassing debt collection techniques, such as threats of jail time or physical harm for nonpayment.
- An attempt to collect a debt that is not due, or that is outside the applicable statute of limitations for collection.
In order to determine if a debt collector has engaged in any of these practices, careful review is required. If you believe you are being treated unlawfully, send a written request that the collector “cease and desist” communication with you. Once you have done that, call our office. We will review the facts of your case, including any recordings of telephone calls between yourself and the collection agency as well as all documentation you’ve received. When we are able to identify a violation of the law, we will take steps to hold the collector accountable. You are entitled to damages for each violation committed, and the collector can also be held responsible for your attorney fees in having to fight for your rights.
If you have questions about collection practices, contact our office for help. We will explain your options, so you understand your choices and can make a decision that meets your needs. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.