When someone fails to repay their debts on time, how far can their collectors go to recover the money? Although many creditors seem to think that they can act with impunity, the truth is that there are hard rules governing their behavior. The problem is that many consumers are unaware that they’re already protected.
At Ascend Legal Group, we work to keep people educated about what their rights are and how they can go about exercising them. Our Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, team is moving the discourse forward when it comes to shielding consumers from the harmful actions of collectors that don’t respect the law.
The FDCPA and Collection Activity
The FDCPA is a law that works to stop collectors, creditors and other entities from being abusive. According to the legislation, these groups aren’t allowed to do things like calling people’s cellphones incessantly, contacting them after normal business hours or sharing information about their debts with their employers and family members. They’re also prohibited from bothering people who have already formally expressed their desire not to be contacted.
Why is the FDCPA so important? Consumers who know their rights under the law stand better chances of managing their debt responsibly and avoiding major sources of stress. Without the FDCPA, debt collectors would have free rein to do everything from threatening people with arrest for nonpayment to shaming them by sharing their personal information with third parties or the general public.
Have Your Rights Been Violated?
The FDCPA also includes an important provision that lets consumers pursue damages for the suffering that they’ve gone through. People who have been exploited, misled or otherwise inconvenienced can file lawsuits, and they may be able to receive damages of up to $1,000. In some cases, consumers can also band together in groups to file class-action suits worth as much as $500,000.
The FDCPA is a highly effective tool for consumers who are tired of being abused, but only those who know how to navigate the court system can fully leverage its power. Unlike criminal laws, the FDCPA’s civil nature means that it’s imperative to take action on your own instead of waiting around for a state business regulator or prosecutor to do things for you.
Being in debt doesn’t have to make you feel like a second-class citizen. To learn more about pushing back with the FDCPA, contact an Ascend Legal Group team member today.