The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates how debt collectors must conduct themselves when attempting to collect debts. The FDCPA offers important legal rights to debtors that include protection from certain debt collection practices including harassment or abuse, false or misleading representations, unfair practices, validation of debts, multiple debts, legal actions, and furnishing deceptive forms. At Cogburn Law Offices, we know that you want a reputable firm to make sure these rights are respected by debt collectors. If necessary, we can help you bring a civil suit to affirm these protections and seek damages when appropriate.
Beyond our reputation for legal expertise and integrity, we’re also on top of new legal developments as it applies to our clients. The FDCPA may very well see substantive changes as it comes under the purview of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As such, we’ll be ready to aggressively pursue any new or modified protections, including changes to enforcement policies, as this new agency puts them into effect.
Fair Debt Collection Practice Advocates in Your Corner
At Cogburn Law Offices in Las Vegas, we serve as dedicated advocates for clients, holding creditors to the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA imposes restrictions on the way debt collectors can communicate while collecting a debt, including the following:
- Time and place: Generally, debt collectors may not contact you at a time or place that is unusual or known to be inconvenient to you. They are prohibited from contacting you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., or at work if they know you are not allowed to receive such communications while working.
- Harassment: Debt collectors are not allowed to harass you through phone calls or any other form of communication. Threats of harm, obscene or profane language, and repeated phone calls to annoy you are prohibited. Debt collectors are not allowed to publish lists of consumers who have not paid their debts or call your friends, family members, neighbors, or coworkers, except to obtain an updated address or phone number.
- False statements and misrepresentation: Debt collectors are prohibited by law from lying or falsely identifying themselves to collect a debt. They are not allowed to pretend to be attorneys, representatives of credit reporting agencies, or government representatives. Neither can they threaten you with actions they are not legally allowed to take.
- Attorney representation: If a debt collector is aware that an attorney is representing you concerning your debt, the debt collector must cease contacting you and contact your attorney instead. If you have an attorney and a debt collector contacts you, provide the name of your attorney, after which all direct contact should stop.
- Written directive to cease contact: If you tell a debt collector in writing to stop contacting you, the debt collector is prohibited from further contact except to tell you that there will be no further contact or to notify you of a specific legal action being taken.
Your Right to Information about the Debt
A debt collector who contacts you about a debt is required by law to provide certain information about the debt. That information includes:
- The name of the creditor
- The amount owed
- The fact that you can dispute the debt
- Your right to request the name of the original creditor if different than the current creditor
If the above information is not provided during the initial contact, it must be sent to you in writing within five days. You may dispute all or part of a debt and request more information if you are unsure if you owe the debt or how much you owe.
Collection Stops Until Requested Information Is Provided
If you dispute a debt or part of a debt in writing within 30 days of receiving the information the debt collector is required to provide to you, no further contact to collect the disputed portion of the debt is allowed until you receive verification of the debt in writing.
If you request the name and address of the original creditor in writing within 30 days, all debt collection activities must stop until you are given that information. If the name of the original creditor is not familiar to you, ask if the debt may have been purchased from another company, and if so, what is the name and address of the creditor from whom it was purchased.
Contact Us for Help
Reach out to our trial attorneys at Cogburn Law Offices for a free case consultation if you have been a victim of illegal debt collection practices.