On “Fair” Debt Collection

Times are tough out there for everyone–including slime ball “law firms” and debt collectors who make a living collecting on zombie debts.

Have you gotten harassing letters or calls from debt collectors claiming that you owe them money because of some debt from your past?

Well get ready Atlantans, because if you haven’t been visited by one of these letters or calls, you may soon be the target.

Please don’t roll over and take it. Please don’t be intimidated those clown-school outfits who are trying to harass you out of your family’s precious finances.

The fact is that there is a strong probability that these calls and letters are violating the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act and if you fight back, you can win back your dignity, peace and quiet–and damages.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers from debt collectors who do anything that violates truth, dignity, fairness, and respect. Debt collectors are prohibited from contacting you at “unusual or inconvenient” places.

During higher economic times, many Georgians had an easier time paying back old debts. In recent years we saw large scale crackdowns on nefarious collection activities. But debt collectors have been up to their old tricks lately. Things have gotten tougher in our current economic state, and many people are having a difficult time keeping the wolves at bay. You may have noticed that the Federal Trade Commission is now investigating several large debt collection outfits for recent violations of the FDCPA.

If you’re or your family, friends, coworkers, roommates are being harassed by debt collectors, you may have a case.

If the debt collector is threatening to sue you, garnish your wages, expose your debt to the shame of society, you may have a case.

If you’ve told the debt collector to stop contacting you and they persist, you may have a case.

Likewise, if you’ve asked for a letter from them verifying the debt, and they don’t send it to you within 5 days, or if the notice is deficient, you may have a case.
Here’s the text from the Act–Section 809 Validation of debts
“(a) Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing—
(1) the amount of the debt;
(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
(5) a statement that, upon the consumer’s written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.”

If you’ve been sued in a Georgia Court, you can use violations of the FDCPA as defensive counterclaims against the scummy debt collectors. Call me and I’ll explain why they really don’t want you filing counterclaims against them.

What can you collect? The FDCPA provides generously to those who pursue claims against the debt collectors. This is because the Federal Government is serious about stopping abuse. Take your claim seriously are get ready to collect:

  • Statutory damages up to $1000 per claim.
  • Actual damages–money you’ve lost, and emotional damages you’ve suffered at the hands of debt collectors.
  • Attorney fees (that means I may work for you, but the debt collectors may pay my fee)
  • Court costs (that means the debt collector pays the court–not you).