Illegal Debt Collection is always the number one complained about problem by consumers, both to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and to the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB). In what should end up being good news for consumers in our country, on July 28, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) issued its outline of proposals under consideration for the regulation of debt collection. Don Lawson in our Tennessee office wrote extensively about these changes. Additionally, these proposed changes received national press coverage.
In a nutshell, if a communication from a debt collector is untruthful, unfair, undignified or disrespectful, then that is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Our lawyers have extensive experience in suing debt collectors, both for violations of the FDCPA and under the Telephone Consumer Practices Act (TCPA) if someone is receiving unwanted and unauthorized telephone calls and text messages to their cell phones.
Though it can feel hopeless when a consumer is being harassed and verbally brutalized by a debt collector, there are several protective actions that can be taken to stop the illegal harassment by a debt collector.
As a side note, consumers are well advised to also treat debt collection lawsuits against them in the same manner that they would treat debt collection harassment. There are specific ways in which a consumer can prevail in court against a debt collection lawsuit. Losing a debt collection lawsuit can have dramatic, draconian and long-reaching consequences that can cause financial ruination.
Dealing With Debt Collectors
Dealing with debt collectors and protecting oneself from debt collection harassment does not necessarily mean a bankruptcy filing. If there are several debt issues to be addressed, then looking at a bankruptcy filing may make sense. If, however, someone is being illegally harassed by just one debt collector or being sued by just one debt collector, then it may be more prudent sense to go on the offense against that one offending debt collector. Remember, if you feel that the collection harassment against you is untruthful, unfair, undignified or disrespectful, then you have rights that you can exercise against the offending debt collector. Additionally, if you are sued by a debt collector, you must act immediately and defend yourself so that you do not lose the lawsuit and have a judgment entered against you.
Our lawyers are available to meet with you at a free, confidential meeting where we will review your entire situation and discuss any and all issues that are of concern to you. Please feel free to contact the office that is nearest to you to set up a free consultation appointment.
Ron Sykstus is a Managing Partner of several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and a Juris Doctorate from the Northern Illinois University College of Law. Ron has served in numerous positions throughout the U.S. Army and now utilizes his expertise in the areas of VA issues, security clearances, military law, and bankruptcy to assist his clients when they need it most. Read his full bio here.