Collection Letters

In attempting to collect a debt, many debt collectors and attorneys violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692. This is a federal law that you gives you certain rights and prohibits debt collectors and attorneys from participating in certain conduct. A violation of the FDCPA may entitle you up to $1,000.00 for each collector that violates the law.

Even if you owe the debt, if a debt collector engages in any abusive, deceptive, or unfair collection practices, contact us for a free telephone evaluation to determine if you are entitled to recover money damages and payment of your attorneys’ fees and costs from the debt collector!


Some Violations of the FDCPA Include:

  • Adding collection charges that are unauthorized
  • Adding interest charges which were unauthorized
  • Threatening prosecution
    Collection letters that threaten a lawsuit, wage garnishment, seizure of property, etc. are often threats of unintended action. Neither the collector nor the attorney may overstate the remedies available to the creditor. Where the amount of the debt is small or the consumer has little or no assets, the threat of a collection may be false. In almost all circumstances, threats of arrest for nonpayment of the debt are also false.
  • Having a collection agent say they are going to assist you with your credit.
  • Collection agency names that imply the agent is with the government.
  • Any notice that misstates your legal rights.
  • Threatening to take action that are not intended to be taken or cannot legally be taken.
    Collection letters that threaten a lawsuit, wage garnishment, seizure of property, etc. often are threats of unintended action. Neither the collector nor the attorney may overstate the remedies available to the creditor. Where the amount of the debt is small or the consumer has little or no assets, the threat of a collection action is usually false. In almost all circumstances threats of arrest for nonpayment of the debt are also false.
  • Failure to Provide the Consumer Notices.
    The failure to give the validation notice, discussed in the foregoing paragraph, and the debt collection warning, i.e. — this is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose, violates the Act. In all subsequent communications the collector must state that the communication is from a debt collector.

 

 

  • Using any language or symbol on the envelope from the debt collector indicating that the letter is from a debt collector.
    However, the debt collector may use its address and business name so long as the name does not indicate that it is in the debt collection business.
  • Initial demand letters that ask for payment immediately or in less than 30 days.
    The debt collector is required to inform the consumer in the first communication or within five (5) days thereof that the consumer has thirty (30) days within which to dispute the debt, request in writing verification of the alleged debt, and/or request in writing the name and address of the original creditor. To contradict or overshadow this thirty (30) day period my violate the FDCPA, even if the debt collector’s contradiction is not threatening.
  • A notice that comes from a collection agency without saying so.
  • Accusing you of having committed a crime.
  • Mass-Mailing of Attorney Letters.
    Collection letters sent on the letterhead of an attorney or over the facsimile signature of an attorney often violates the Act. The attorney must review the creditor’s file, reach a professional determination of the merits of the case, and participate in the decision to mail the collection letter. In a mass-mailing situation, the attorney’s participation does not reach this level.
  • Contradicting or Overshadowing of the Thirty Day Validation Notice.
    The collector is required to inform the consumer in the first communication or within five (5) days thereof that the consumer has thirty (30) days within which to dispute the debt, request in writing verification of the alleged debt, and/or request in writing the name and address of the original creditor. To contradict or overshadow this thirty (30) day period within which the consumer may exercise his rights violates the Act. The contradiction need not be threatening.