Does the Law Prohibit Debt Collection Harassment?

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There are many types of debt collection laws that prohibit debt collection harassment. A federal law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits harassment, deception, and unconscionable practices, and gives consumers many important rights. There are many state laws that prohibit harassment as well, like Pennsylvania’s Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act (FCEUA). If you think a debt collector broke the law, contact our debt harassment attorney for help. Complete our contact form or call us at 1-800-997-5561.

What debt collection laws prohibit harassment?

There are many laws that apply to debt collectors and regulate their conduct. Some of these laws apply specifically to debt collectors, while others set forth general obligations and prohibitions debt collectors must follow. Here are some of the laws that provide legal rights to you:

  • FDCPA: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collection harassment, and deceptive and unconscionable debt collection practices. The FDCPA also gives consumers legal rights regarding collector communications and debt verification, and venue and payment protections.
  • FCRA: The Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits debt collectors from reporting inaccurate or out-dated information on consumers to credit reporting agencies. The FCRA also requires debt collectors to investigate consumer disputes and prohibits debt collectors from accessing credit reports in certain instances.
  • TCPA: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits debt collectors from calling your phone without consent.
  • FCEUA: The Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act is a Pennsylvania law that has many protections similar to the FDCPA.
  • UTPCPL: The Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law is a Pennsylvania law that prohibits fraud and deceit.
  • The Dragonetti Act: this is a Pennsylvania law that prohibits the initiation of lawsuits without probable cause.

What happens when debt collectors violate debt collection laws?

When debt collectors violate the law, they often are liable to consumers for damages. If you get sued and a debt collector violates the law, you may be able to get the lawsuit dismissed and get damages for the legal violation. Finally, if a debt collector reports false, inaccurate, or out-dated information on your credit report, it must remove that information.

Here are some of the types of damages that are available under for violations of various debt collection laws:

  • Actual Damages: this type of damage will reimburse you for any monetary harm you suffered, as well as any anxiety, emotional distress, or physical harmed caused by a debt collector's practices.
  • Statutory Damages: this type of damage is like an automatic damage award when a debt collection violates the law. Statutory damages depend on the law that was violated. For example, the FDCPA provides for up to $1000 for a violation, while the TCPA provides for between $500 to $1500 for each unlawful call a debt collector makes.
  • Attorneys Fees and Costs: most consumer protection laws allow for the recovery of attorneys fees and costs from a debt collector, meaning suing a debt collector generally is at no cost to a consumer.
  • Punitive Damages: this type of damage is awarded to punish debt collectors for egregious legal violations. Punitive damages are available only under a limited number of laws and in special situations.

How do I know if a debt collection law was broken?

Debt collection laws are broken regularly. Not only that, but debt collectors can violate the law in almost innumerable ways. Put differently, learning how to spot violations of debt collection laws would take far more time than a single blog post. If you think a debt collector violate the law, contact our debt harassment attorney for help. 

Hire BCJ Law to help.

If you think a debt collection agency violated a debt collection law, visit our debt collection harassment page to learn how BCJ Law can help. Call us at 1-800-997-5561 or complete our contact form.

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