If you owe money to a creditor and your debt has been turned over to a debt collector, you can be sure they are going to make every effort to contact you. They are within their rights to notify you that they are attempting to collect the debt and they can take you to court to sue for the money you owe. However, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), there are limits to what they can do. If you feel that you are being unfairly harassed by a debt collector, you can take action to stop them and if they do not stop, you may be able to sue for damages.
What You Should Do First
Before taking legal action, you should make every effort to settle the debt the collector is trying to collect. If you do truly owe the money you are being asked for, you can stop harassment before it starts by paying the money you owe or making a settlement arrangement. If the harassment continues, you can write a cease and desist letter which will obligate the collector to stop contacting you. If they do not stop calling you, keep a record of the calls and call us. If you do not owe the money, you must notify the debt collector of the error in writing and tell him to never contact you again. He must then stop contacting you and investigate your claim.
Taking Legal Action
If the harassment continues despite settling or disputing the debt, you may want to consider taking legal action. With the help of a consumer attorney, you can sue the collection agency for damages. Under federal law, you can receive up to $1,000 in statutory damages, legal fees, and whatever actual damages you can prove in court. As creditors and debt collectors can and probably will claim that they made an honest mistake (known as a bona fide error), you will need an experienced consumer attorney to counter their defense. In cases of extreme unjustified harassment, you may also be able to sue for invasion of privacy, defamation, or other criminal charges.
Contact The Consumer Law Group, P.C.
If you have questions about whether you are being harassed or how to take legal action against a debt collector or creditor, fill out the form on this page and we will get back to you shortly with answers.