When you are being sued for an unpaid debt — valid or not — you worry about the damages you may be forced to pay. Luckily, if the tactics debt collectors are using to try to collect that debt are unfair, you may actually have a lawsuit to collect damages against them. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you are protected from harassment and abuse, misleading or false statements, and otherwise unfair tactics that abuse their position in order to try to collect an alleged debt.
If a debt collector is found to be harassing, you not only can get an injunction against them to stop them from attempting to collect on the debt, but also collect monetary damages. These damages can cover the following:
- Damages for physical distress
- Damages for emotional duress
- Recovery of lost wages
- Statutory punitive damages of $1,000
- Attorney costs
- Court fees
Not only is this provided for by FDCPA law, but it is also actively awarded to the victims of unfair debt collection on a regular basis.
Two Largest Debt Buyers Forced to Pay Damages to Consumers
In fact, just in early September, two of the largest debt buyers were forced to reimburse consumers millions of dollars of collected debts and pay millions of dollars in damages for unfair practices by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Encore Capital Group and Portfolio Recovery Associates were using unfair tactics to pressure consumers into paying with false lawsuits and other tricks.
This action is good news for consumers looking to seek their own damages, as it yet again sets the precedent for punishing unfair tactics that hurt consumers. In fact, a statement from the CFPB has urged a halt to “illegal and obnoxious debt collection practices” specifically using the threat of a lawsuit without standing, making harassing calls and misrepresentations, and other bad practices. If you have been a victim of such tactics, you not only have the right to stop them, you also have the right to seek damages for suffering through them.
If you’ve been suffering through unfair debt collection practices, you can get help stopping them today. Call the dedicated Cleveland consumer protection lawyers at Luftman, Heck, and Associates at (216) 586-6600 today for a free preliminary consultation where you can find out if you may have a case. No one deserves to be harassed and abused by debt collectors. We may be able to help you get justice.