Over the years, many clients have asked me if they are able to sue a debt collector for harassment under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), even if they owe the debt they are being harassed about. My answer to them is a resounding YES! The FDCPA protects all consumers against debt collection abuse, whether the consumer owes the debt or not. In fact, most of my clients who sue debt collectors for FDCPA violations, owe the debt.
Some common debt collection practices that violate the FDCPA are:
- disclosing details about a consumer’s debt to 3rd parties (friends, co-workers, neighbors, relatives)
- contacting consumers at inconvenient times (before 8:00am or after 9:00pm) or at work after the consumer has told the debt collector to stop calling there.
- threatening a consumer with violence
- using abusive or profane language
- threatening to take legal action when the debt collector has no intent or legal capacity to do so
- implying that a consumer has committed a crime by not paying the debt.
If you are being harassed by debt collectors in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, you may be entitled to compensation of $1,000 in statutory damages, plus actual damages and attorney fees. Please call California Consumer Protection Attorney, Todd M. Friedman for a free consultation.