Archive for the 'Debt Collection' Category
Why is it Difficult for Debt Collectors to Follow the FDCPA?
Debt collection agencies do not comply with the fair debt collection laws laid by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a federal act enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and private litigants to ensure fair debt collection methods.
There are numerous violations that may cause penalties against the debt collector to be paid to the borrowers or applied to the balance of the account. Two of the most important are prohibitions regarding communications with third parties and harassment of debtors.
While the FDCPA has clear guidelines what is and what is not a violation of the Act, debt collectors and agencies do not employ these guidelines. Is it because these debt collectors do not have the knowledge of the Act or is it because they think you do not have the knowledge of your rights. The second seems to be more true because it is mandatory for debt collectors and debt collection agencies to know the FDCPA.
The two most common complaints the FTC receives regarding collectors involve claims of harassment and collection agencies pursuing more than is really due. If we were to analyze debt collection cases, we can uncover a regular pattern where in violations by collectors or agencies goes unnoticed by debtors. Debtors, even if they owe should collect evidence of harassment, record all telephone calls, and other communication from debt collectors which sure throws up a lot of evidence.
Apart form direct telephonic harassment and attempting to collect more than due, debt collectors often leave messages through third parties to the borrower. This is another violation of law and should be taken advantage of by debtors. Sending mails through window envelopes where anyone could read the information, is another violation we frequently hear about. Some collection agencies send their agents to visit a borrower’s house who shout from outside the door to come out and sign ‘legal papers’ and this is considered a violation.
Debtors should also watch out for collection agencies attempting to get them to admit things both the borrowers and debt collectors know to be untrue. Even though the collector’s own records showed that a payment had been made, it attempted, to get the borrowers to admit it had not been made. The courts do not tolerate such behavior and term it abusive, unfair, and an unconscionable practice which violated the FDCPA.
Collection agencies use a lot of surreptitious tactics to collect on debts that you do not even really own. They rely on harassment, deception, and embarrassing borrowers to extract money to make them give in. But once they come across a borrower willing to pursue the issue and challenge the debt and the collection practices in court, debt collectors are often found to be in violation of collection laws. If the debts they are collecting are legitimate, why is it so difficult for these companies and agents to follow a few simple laws?
Attorney Brian Parker is a Michigan
Debt Collection Laws
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