Despite popular belief that Americans are a litigious bunch always looking for a good lawsuit, I haven’t experienced this in my law practice in Arizona. Particularly when it comes to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations by abusive debt collectors. Often the families I meet with have endured a tremendous amount of abuse and yet still haven’t taken any action to get the debt collector to stop. And typically the abuse isn’t just directed the consumer, but their families and even employers deal with the non-stop phone calls and threats.
In this article I want to go over five (5) reasons you should consider filing an FDCPA lawsuit against debt collectors who have crossed the line from aggressive collection to abuse.
#1 – A Lawsuit Will Make the Abuse Stop
The first reason is that you can get them to stop the abusive debt collection tactics. Often debt collectors will do things like contact family members about your debt, use profane or other abusive language, contact you at work after they know you are not permitted to take calls there, or use anything that is false or misleading in attempting to collect on a debt.
By filing an FDCPA lawsuit you will stop the abuse.
#2 – Statutory Damages up to $1,000
The second reason is not only will you get the behavior to stop, the FDCPA allows for statutory damages of up to $1,000 per case. It is what is known as a “strict liability” statute – meaning if the debt collector violated one of the rules of the FDCPA then they have to pay you up to $1,000 in damages.
#3 – Actual Damages – No Limit
Further, if you have actual damages the FDCPA allows you to collect on those as well. For instance, if you lost a job due to the harassment of a debt collector you may have actual damages as well – and there are no limits on those.
#4- Free Lawyer
In addition to statutory and actual damages the FDCPA requires the offending debt collector to pay your legal fees. This means that when you hire a law firm like mine that there are no upfront costs to getting started.
#5 – Costs Paid
When lawsuits are filed there are costs above and beyond what a lawyer charges you. Typically there are filing fees charged by the court and process fees that must be paid to the process server for dropping off a copy of the complaint and summons. These fees are recoverable under the FDCPA as well.
The short of it is, you don’t need to continue to suffer under the abuse of a debt collector who thinks the rules don’t apply to them. But it often takes more then simply asking them to stop – it takes a lawsuit.
Schedule a Free Consultation!
John Skiba, Esq.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your debt problem and help you put together a game plan to eliminate your debt once and for all. Give us a call at (480) 420-4028