About 80 percent of Americans are in some type of debt, and for those who fall behind in their payments, that can mean facing annoying and even abusive phone calls or letters by aggressive and often unscrupulous debt collectors. Fortunately, there are laws that limit and even forbid this type of activity.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) provides consumers with important protections against unfair and illegal debt collection practices. Under the FDCPA, creditors have very stringent guidelines they must follow when attempting to collect a debt, and that includes the language they use in letters and phone calls, as well as the way they contact you and how often they contact you. Specifically, FDCPA addresses illegal, harassing and abusive behaviors by debt collectors, including:
- contacting you to collect on debts you don’t owe, especially debts owed by someone else whose name is similar to yours
- contacting you at work
- contacting outside of specific hours of the day
- contacting you after you’ve asked them to stop contacting you or when you’ve told them you’re being represented by an attorney
- using abusive or threatening language
- contacting repeatedly during a relatively short space of time
- providing you with false or misleading information about your debt or its legal status
Debt collectors who violate the FDCPA guidelines can be held liable for consumers’ actual damages and attorneys’ fees, as well as statutory damages.
Experienced FDCPA Lawyers
At Kellett & Bartholow PLLC, we have more than 50 years of experience helping clients in and around Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and around the country. We aggressively pursue FDCPA violations on behalf of our clients. If you’ve been the victim of unscrupulous debt collection practices, contact Kellett & Bartholow PLLC today to learn how we can help.