The Five Most Common Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Violations
There are many possible actions that a debt collector can against a person that is unlawful under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In our experience, some violations occur more often than not. If you believe you are a victim of unfair debt collection, contact us immediately.
Some of the most common violations are:
(1) Threatening to take a legal action. Threatening an action such as wage garnishment, or threatening to file a lawsuit (or indicate that a lawsuit has already been filed against you), when any such action has not and cannot be taken in Missouri or Illinois would be a violation of the FDCPA.
(2) Improper calculation of the alleged debt. Debt collectors often tack on additional costs, fees, and interest that they are not legally or contractually entitled to. If the collector tries to collect on an amount over and above what is actually due and owing, it is an FDCPA violation.
(3) Calling or contacting third parties. For the most part, a collector can only contact a third party (friend, neighbor, relative) to find your location and contact information, and only after they have made their own good faith effort to contact you. They may not discuss the alleged debt with this third party. Doing so would be a violation of the FDCPA.
(4) Failure to send a notice. You are entitled to request a validation of the debt within five days of the first contact by the collector. The collector must advise you that under 1692(g) you have the right to request validation of the alleged debt, including the amount and the name of the original creditor. This failure is a violation of the FDCPA for which up to $1000 could be awarded.
(5) Re-aging the debt. In order to preserve the statute of limitations for credit reporting or to make the debt appear newer than it actually is, a collector may try to make the debt appear to be newer than it actually is. Doing so would be a violation of the FDCPA.