Know Your Rights Against Debt Collectors and Collection Agencies
Stout & Casey is a Greeley law firm dedicated to helping people who are being harassed and abused by debt collectors and collection agencies. So many consumers are facing difficult financial choices of maintaining their household or paying off an abusive debt collector or collection agency in order to stop being harassed. You do not have to make this choice. We can help stop the harassment today. You do not have to feel alone or ashamed of your situation. We are here to help. Debt collectors and collection agencies often use fear and intimidation. They know that very often consumers will not seek out qualified legal help because of shame or embarrassment and they work to keep you feeling that way.
Debt collection is a legitimate business. When it becomes abusive, rude, harassing, and out of control, there are state and federal laws to protect consumers. Stout & Casey can take action to protect you and your family and make debt collectors and collection agencies pay if they have violated those laws. Our attorneys are not intimidated by debt collectors. Our only concern is serving the needs of our clients, at no cost to the client, and protecting their rights during difficult times. We offer free, confidential case evaluation consultations and we will work fast to stop the abuse and harassment. We will see that you are compensated for any violation of federal and state debt collection laws. Call today to get us working for you.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Your Rights
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 by the U.S. Congress. It was designed to protect consumers against abuse, harassment, and fear tactics by debt collectors. It provides that if a debt collector violates the law, you as the consumer have a right to bring a lawsuit against that debt collector and his or her collection agency. It does not matter if the debt is valid or not. You could be awarded up to $1,000 in statutory damages by the court for violations of the FDCPA and the debt collector can be made to pay all your attorney fees and costs associated with bringing the action.
Statutory damages are damages awarded for violations of the FDCPA that do not require any showing of actual damages. They require showing that the debt collector has violated the law. Actual damages can also be awarded by the court. If you have suffered economic loss, job loss, emotional distress, depression, damage to your economic status, damage to your relationships, or actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of illegal behavior by the bill collector, the court may award you compensation. If you can prove actual damages, you may be entitled to much more than the $1,000 statutory damages.
Examples of FDCPA Violations
- Abusive or profane language
- Threats of economic or bodily harm
- Leaving repeated messages on your answering machine or voicemail
- Contacting you between 9:10 p.m. and 7:59 a.m.
- Talking to anyone except you about the debt they are trying to collect
- Misrepresenting who the debt collector is or who the represent – like saying they are lawyers or peace officers if they are not, saying they work for the courts, or saying they are working on your case as part of an ongoing criminal investigation
- Demanding that you pay within a certain time frame or face legal action when they know they have no legal remedy
- Contacting you when they know you are represented by an attorney
These are only a few examples of FDCPA violations. Contact Stout & Casey for a full case evaluation.
How Much Will This Cost?
Stout & Casey offers a free case evaluation. This can be done by phone or in person.
If we determine that we believe you have been the victim of illegal acts by a debt collector or collection agency, Stout & Casey will initiate a lawsuit against that person or agency. The FDCPA authorizes the court to make the debt collector or collection agency who violated the act to pay for your reasonable attorney fees and costs associated with bringing a lawsuit. The FDCPA allows for statutory awards for up to $1,000 to you plus all reasonable attorney fees and costs of litigation. Many cases have damages above and beyond the $1,000 cap. Stout & Casey will fight for all the damages you deserve. We do not hold you responsible for any attorney fees unless we are able to recover damages for you; however, if we do not recover, you may be liable for other costs.
What If I Owe the Money?
You probably do owe the money, but that does not give the bill collector the right to harass, intimidate, or threaten you or your family. The FDCPA regulates how bill collectors must behave and rules they must follow. If they don’t follow the rules, even if you owe the money, they can be held responsible for violations of the law.
Contact Stout & Casey for a free case evaluation today.