How Does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Protect Me in St. Louis?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal statute that regulates what a debt collector can and cannot do when it tries to collect on a debt. It prohibits a number of activities that unfortunately occur with some frequency all across the United States, including St. Louis, Missouri. Whether the collection agencies activities are in the form of a letter sent to your home, or a phone call to your cellphone or landline, the FDCPA governs it.No Upfront Fees Required. The Collector Must Pay For Your Attorney Fees
Examples of the types of things that the FDCPA makes unlawful are:
- Contacting you at your place of work
- Contacting your family members
- Contacting you friends and/or neighbors
- Making a threat to garnish your wages
- Making a threat to report the debt to a credit bureau
- Making a threat to have you imprisoned if you do not pay on the debt
- Making a threat to have you evicted from your home
- Making a threat to sue you (when they have no intention of doing so)
- Assessing additional fees or charges to your debt
- Saying anything derogatory about you
- Saying anything threatening or harassing
- Using harsh or obscene language, foul words, or racial slurs
- Representing him or herself as an attorney when they are not
This is not by any means a comprehensive list, as there are many other ways in which a collection agency may violate your rights. But if any of the above-mentioned activities are committed, then the collector has violated your consumer rights, and you are entitled to up to $1,000 in compensatory damages. In addition, the law states that you are entitled to recover your reasonable attorney fees for having to bring the claim against the debt collector or collection agency. This means that there will not be any upfront fees when you retain a lawyer to help you out.
While there is plenty that can be done against a collector when it violates your rights under the FDCPA, you may also want to consider if a St. Louis bankruptcy makes sense for you. Depending on what kinds of unsecured debts you have (like credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc.), or what types of secured obligations you are under (like a house mortgage, car note, tax debt, etc.), either a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the best route.
The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at The Bankruptcy Company have been assisting people with their debt issues for over ten (10) years. We have also pursued collection agencies and debt collectors vigorously for their transgressions over the same period of time. The initial consultation is free of charge. Call today to learn more!