FDCPA, FCRA & OTHER CONSUMER PROTECTION LITIGATION
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, known as the FDCPA, is a federal statute governing debt collectors. Codified in 15 U.S.C. §1692, the FDCPA seeks to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors. This serves the dual purpose of protecting consumers as well as honest debt collectors who do not engage in abusive collections tactics. The FDCPA details various prohibited abusive practices, such as the threat of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person. The use of obscene or profane language is also prohibited. So is causing a telephone to ring repeatedly in order to annoy abuse or harass any person at the called number. These are just a few of the prohibited practices under the FDCPA. The crux of the FDCPA is to prevent unscrupulous debt collectors from crossing the line when trying to collect a debt. However, the unsuspecting debt collector, even if well intentioned, can violate the FDCPA through a host of more “technical” violations found in the text of the FDCPA.
CONSUMER PROTECTION ATTORNEY
For example, the FDCPA states that within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector must, unless the information is already contained in the initial communication with the consumer, send the consumer written notice containing (1) the amount of the debt; (2) the name of the creditor; (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.
DEBT COLLECTOR PROTECTION
Complete compliance with the technical provisions of the FDCPA is of paramount importance. For example, a consumer receiving a demand letter from a debt collector not containing one of the above disclaimers in a demand letter would have a potential cause of action against the debt collector for a violation of the FDCPA. There is a large body of case law interpreting the nuances of the FDCPA, which must also be reviewed to ensure absolute compliance.
At Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L., we can assist with any enforcement or defense issues arising from the FDCPA.
Similarly, the FCRA, which stands for the Fair Credit Reporting Act, is a federal statute protecting consumers from erroneous information appearing on their credit reports. If you believe a creditor has improperly reported a debt to the credit bureaus, contact us for a consultation on whether you may have recourse against the creditor. Similarly if you are a creditor facing a lawsuit from a consumer alleging FDCPA or FCRA violations, we can assist in defense of any such actions.
COMMERCIAL LITIGATION LAWYER
When a violation of the FCRA occurs, an often overlooked cause of action available to an aggrieved consumer is for damage of credit. At Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L. we work closely with leading experts in this field, who can determine whether additional recovery is possible when damage to credit has been done.