Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights

Personal, family, and household debts are covered under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act was designed to protect consumers from undesirable actions on the part of debt collectors. If you believe your rights have been violated by the manner in which a debt collector has contacted you, contact me for a free case evaluation.

Debts included in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) include money owed for the purchase of a home, an automobile for general transportation, medical care, and non-business charge accounts. Debt collectors may include anyone, other than the creditor, who regularly collects debts for others, including collection agencies, attorneys who regularly collect debts or foreclose mortgages, or companies that regularly acquire debts after they are allegedly in default.

In particular, debt collectors are not allowed to contact you at inconvenient times or in inconvenient places. Debt collectors are not allowed to contact you at work if they should know that your employer does not permit it. They must not contact you at all if you are represented by an attorney and the debt collector knows you have an attorney. Collectors must not verbally or in any other way harass or abuse you threatening harm or using obscene language. They also cannot tell your employer, neighbor, credit references, or friends that you owe a debt. In addition, debt collectors may not contact you without identifying themselves, or accept a postdated check and post it prior to its date.

For more information about the provisions of the FDCPA, and detailed instructions on actions you can take to protect yourself from predatory debt collection practices, click on this link. As you consider contacting an attorney, review the qualifications and accomplishments of Gary Merenstein, Attorney at Law. I am dedicated to protecting consumer rights through individual and class action lawsuits. You have the right to sue a collector in state or federal court within one year of a violation of the FDCPA. You may recover up to $1000 statutory damages, actual damages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs. In a class action, the debt collector may be liable for 1% of its net worth or $500,000, whichever is less, plus actual damages.

The following is a letter that you may find useful.

Your name
Your address
Debt collectors name
Debt collectors address
[I suggest you fax or send by certified or
overnight mail so that you have a record
of RECEIPT by the debt collector]

Re: [account number]
Ladies/ Gentlemen:

Please be advised that we dispute the claimed debt(s) described above.

Please provide any contract or agreement we signed and an account history showing how you arrived at the conclusion that we owe the amounts claimed and when this alleged debt(s) was charged off.

Furthermore, you are hereby requested, as required by the Uniform Commercial Code,  to provide copies of  assignments and other documents showing that you or your principal is in fact the assignee of the debt(s) described above and that you are legally authorized to attempt to collect the claimed debt(s) from us.

Unless and until such  proof is furnished, we do not recognize any right on your part to attempt to collect any amount from us through any means whatever, including credit reporting.  We refuse to pay any debt which has not been substantiated in the manner we request and direct you to cease further communications unless and until you can provide such substantiation.

Thank you.