In many situations debt collectors can use deceitful, unlawful, and corrupt practices against consumers who have or don’t have debt. Below are the 5 ways to report debt collectors if you’ve been harassed. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has strict guidelines to be able to protect the consumer about what debt collectors can and cannot do when collecting a debt from you.
- They can only call between certain hours
- They must inform you that they’re a debt collector attempting to collect a debt
- They cannot harass you
- They must stop calling you after you’ve asked them to stop via letter
If they have violated any of the above points you are within your rights to report debt collectors. To make it easier, our FDCPA attorneys can offer guidance and help you get through this. Our consultations are completely free.
Get To Know Your Rights
It’s important that you know your rights when being contacted by debt collectors. Even if you currently have no debt to be collected. At any point in time, debt collectors may try to get you to pay for something you don’t even owe. Or contact you to find out information about a friend or relative who does owe a debt.
What You Should Do If a Debt Collector Violates the FDCPA
You have every right to take actions against a debt collector that violates the FDCPA. Here is what you can do:
Go To The CFPB and File a Complaint
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an independent government agency responsible for enforcing laws to protects consumer rights in the financial industry. Once you’ve sent a complaint, the CFPB can investigate your complaint and other complaints against that collector and penalize them for breaking the law. Sometimes, you may be entitled to some refunds of fees paid to a debt collector who behaved wrongly.
Go To The Federal Trade Commission and File a Complaint
The CFPB is the best place to file a complaint about debt collection practices. But, if a debt collector has scammed you or you’re receiving telemarketing calls, even though you’re on the Do Not Call registry, you may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Complaints can be filed against the original creditor collecting the debt, debt collectors calling on behalf of the original creditor, or companies that offer credit counseling.
The Federal Trade Commission doesn’t respond to individual complaints. But, they can make companies refund you if there are enough complaints.
Go to Your State’s Attorney General And File a Complaint
Many states also have laws regarding fair debt collection practices that may provide more consumer protection than the federal FDCPA. The State Attorney General can definitely take legal action against a debt collector who behaves badly and violates the law. The National Association of Attorneys General has a list of every state’s Attorney General, so you can easily find yours.
Filing a Complaint at The Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) can’t take legal action but it can mediate disputes against debt collectors. The BBB reports complaints made by consumers against establishments and businesses in order to warn other people about debt collectors.
Go to Your State or Federal Court and File a Civil Suit
The FDPCA gives you the right to sue a debt collector that breaks the law and violates your rights. You’re allowed to sue for up to $1,000, including damages. You should definitely talk with a consumer rights attorney to discuss your case. However, If the debt collector can provide enough evidence that he didn’t violate the FDCPA intentionally and it was a mistake, then he won’t be legally liable.
What to Include in Your Complaint
When the time comes to write your complaint, make sure you include as much evidence supporting your claim as possible. This should include:
- dates and times of phone calls
- name of the collection agency
- name of the person you spoke with
- specific details about the violation
You should be aware that winning a lawsuit against a debt collector doesn’t erase any debt you owe. For example, you may still be obligated to pay the balance unless you are suing the debt collector for collecting a fraudulent debt.
Cogburn Law Firm in Las Vegas
If you would like to learn more about your rights, feel that your rights may have been violated, or you’re looking to report debt collectors in Nevada, speak with one of the FDCPA lawyers at Cogburn Law. Give us a call today at (702) 748-7777 for a free consultation.