Consumers who are overwhelmed by debts may experience harassment by creditors or debt collection agencies. Although there are laws to protect consumers against unfair debt collection, the practice remains prevalent. Not all victims of such harassment know that they may take legal action against companies that unfairly hound them.
A federal lawsuit was recently filed against a company in another state. The lawsuit alleges the company violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the state’s other consumer protection laws. According to court documents, the defendant contacted the plaintiff in March 2015 with regard to an alleged debt that was due for payment.
Debt collection laws allow a debtor a validation period of 30 days to request substantiation of the debt and time to legally dispute it. The collection agency must notify the consumer of this right when the first contact is made to claim payment. The defendant in this case allegedly failed to inform the plaintiff of the validation period, thereby denying her legal rights. The company is accused of deceptive practices.
Any consumer who is the victim of unfair debt collection may find comfort in knowing that legal guidance is available. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can evaluate the client’s financial circumstances and explain the various options available to address the issues and prevent further creditor harassment. Along with debt management options for those whose situations can be salvaged through negotiations with creditors, a lawyer can also explain the protections offered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to consumers who are no longer able to meet their debt commitments and may qualify for having some debts discharged.
Source: pennrecord.com, “Wallingford woman claims law firm used unfair debt collection practices“, Carrie Bradon, March 17, 2016