Debt Collection

Are you tired of hearing “this is an attempt to collect a debt and any information can be used for that purpose?”.

We know how frustrating it can be when consumers are dealing with overly aggressive collections. Whether or not you owe a debt that has been passed to collection agencies, you can receive annoying and sometimes unlawful collection calls and letters.
Debt collectors are governed by strict federal law under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). The FDCPA places restrictions on debt collectors conduct, including prohibiting them from:

  • Calling you before 8am or after 9pm
  • Contacting you at work if you have asked them not to if your employer prohibits such calls
  • Contacting you repeatedly within a day or week in an attempt to harass, intimidate or abuse
  • Making false statements in their attempt to collect the debt, including misrepresenting the amount you owe, falsely claiming to be an attorney, or using misleading stationary to look like an official court or government communication
  • Threatening to take legal action against you that is not intended or permitted by law
  • Threatening you with misleading consequences if you do not pay the debt

The FDCPA also requires that a debt collector provide you with exactly how much you owe and who that original debt is owed to, and they must give you 30 days to contest the debt.
If a debt collector has failed to follow these FDCPA requirements, they may be held accountable to you for actual damages you’ve incurred as a result. In addition, we can help you pursue damages that could compensate you for up $1,000 per violation.

Debt collection Marcus Zelman a consumer rights law firm

Frequently Asked Questions

I am getting collection letters from a collection agency. Is there anything you can do for me?

Yes. We review collection letters for compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the FDCPA). If the letter does not comply with the law, we can sue on your behalf, and potentially get you money in compensation for the debt collector’s actions.

When does a collection letter violate the law?

There are many ways that a collection letter can violate the FDCPA. The law requires debt collectors to put very specific and accurate information in collection letters, such as the accurate amount of your debt and the identity of the entity who owns your debt. The law also requires collection letters to include very specific disclosures. The law also prohibits debt collectors from making false or deceptive statements in collection letters. Because a collection letter can violate the law in many different ways, it is important to have an attorney like Marcus & Zelman review the collection letters you receive.

My property was repossessed because of my debt. Is there anything I can do?

When collectors repossess your property (such as your car), they are required to do so in compliance with state laws on repossession. If the methods or procedures they used violate state law, this may ALSO be a violation of the FDCPA. If you’ve had your property repossessed in debt collection, let us know and we can help assess if you may have a claim.

Can a debt collector call my work?

There are very strict rules about who a debt collector may communicate with. In general, a debt collector cannot communicate with a third party about your debt. A debt collector can call your work and leave a message, but they may not communicate any details regarding your debt. You can also let the debt collector know that they may not call you at work, if your place of employment does not allow such calls, or if it is inconvenient to receive such calls at work.

I told the debt collector to stop calling me, but they keep calling. Is there anything I can do?

Under the law, a debt collector cannot call before 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. A debt collector also cannot call at any time they know is inconvenient to you. A debt collector cannot call you if you are represented by an attorney. If you want to stop all debt collection calls, you have to notify the debt collector of that request in writing. Failure of the debt collector comply may give rise to an actionable lawsuit.

I asked the debt collector to show me proof that I owe this debt. All they sent me is a single page. Is this enough?

Under the law, a debt collector must ‘verify’ a debt if you make that request in writing within 30 days of the debt collector first reaching out to you. The debt collector does not have to provide every credit card statement or every phone bill that supports the amount they are seeking from you. However, the debt collector must show sufficient evidence demonstrating the validity of the amount they are seeking from you.

A debt collector reported me to the credit reporting agency. Don’t they have to notify me first?

No, a debt collector does not have to notify you before they report you to the credit reporting agencies. However, if you dispute the debt, the debt collector is required to let the credit reporting agencies know that the debt is disputed, the next time that the debt collector reports that debt to the credit reporting agencies. If you’ve disputed the debt but that does not appear on your credit report, we can help.

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