A Review of debt collection laws and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act


Have you received a call or even Dunning letters from creditors or collection agency? Whether you fell behind on your debts or simply forgot to pay a bill for one month, you probably have received a friendly reminder about the money you owe.

most companies in the business invoicing Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which are laws that govern their behavior. Among other things, the law prevents Bill collectors from hiring offensive tactics to pressure debtors to fulfill that obligation. For example, the law prevents debt collectors from threatening debtors with certain lawsuits, the excessive calls, certain third party communication, etc. However, it is hard ball tactics which are often the best friend of a bill collector and the necessary pressure. In addition, the bill collectors usually paid a commission on the debt could collect. Consequently bill collectors often find themselves walking a fine line between regulatory compliance and illegal collection.

One collection agency which previously sold in West Virginia jumped way out of the line of Ultra challenging their collection and found themselves in federal court litigation. Specifically, in the case of West v. Coste provided a good example of how not to collect the debt. The case involves a class action lawsuit against the named defendant William C. Coste.

One of the defendants successfully proven that the defendant unlawfully contact third-party debt. The FDCPA prohibits certain third-party contact that is designed to protect the reputation of the debtor and prevent debt from losing a job. This can be difficult for a debtor if a bill collector continuously contacts the employer of the debtor.

debt collector may contact the employer legally but certain restrictions apply and they have to stop all communication when a debtor advises them not to contact him or her in that manner. In Western lawsuit, one plaintiff could prove that a bill collector illegally communicated with his teenage daughter and another proven that the defendant unlawfully communicated with his grandfather and uncle.

In addition to the above, the plaintiffs alleged more degrading types of behavior. Especially that the defendants violated Section 1692e (4-5) of the Act that prevents debt collectors from using any false, deceptive or misleading representation or means in connection with the debt collection and presentation or indirectly to any debt nonpayment will result in arrest or imprisonment individual.

Specifically, plaintiff alleged to have got to demand payment notification indicated that the criminal warrant was pending. In addition to the bill collector told plaintiff that she would have a warrant issued for her arrest unless she paid her debt. The court failed to grant summary judgment on this issue where the defendants were gathering dishonored checks and it was possible to pursue a criminal prosecution for such activities.

The case is also a detailed discussion of other provisions of the FDCPA including ratification of debt, collection of service charges and piercing corporate veil.

In short, if you have been contacted by a bill collector and feel they may have stepped over the line, you may want to refer Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and also to discuss the West against Coste.


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