When a Collection Agency Violates Your Rights Under the FDCPA in St. Louis
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal statute that regulates how a collection agency or debt collector can come after you for a debt that you owe. The provisions of this law become effective the moment that the debt is sold to a collector. Therefore, any activity that the collection agency engages in will be subject to the rules set out in the FDCPA.No Upfront Fees Required. The Collector Must Pay For Your Attorney Fees
Unfortunately, collection agencies have a poor track record when it comes to obeying the law. But this fact does make some sense when you look at the situation more closely. If the debt collector were to follow the FDCPA to the letter, it is unlikely that it would have much success in collecting on the debt. Why? Because the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits the collection agency from taking any untoward action, like threatening you with a lawsuit, or calling you names, or contacting your friends and family. All of these tactics are used as a way to shame or humiliate you into paying the collector. The good news is that such conduct is unlawful. The bad news is that the collection industry does not seem to care.
But there is definitely something that can be done to combat these unlawful tactics. So long as a violation can be shown to have occurred, the FDCPA states that you are to be awarded up to $1,000 in damages. In addition, the act allows you to recover your reasonable attorney fees for having to uphold your rights against the collector. This means that there will be no upfront cost to you when you hire an attorney to handle your case (because in addition to your $1,000 in damages, the collection agency must pay your attorney for time spent on your behalf).
If you have more than one debt (like credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc.), you may also wish to consider filing a St. Louis bankruptcy. Whether it is a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the affordable St. Louis bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken have the expertise to handle all of your debts in an efficient manner. This in turn will give you the fresh start / clean slate that you deserve. The initial consultation is free of charge. So contact us today to learn more!