I want to talk to today about the 5 most common violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Here’s what you have to know. Here’s what debt collectors do most often.
- The most common violation of the FDCPA calls at inconvenient times. For instance, you tell a debt collector. Debt collectors not respecting consumers’ wishes with respect to when calls should be received is one of the most common violations.
- The second most common violation is not respecting the fact that a consumer has hired an attorney. Debt collectors fail routinely to abide by the consumer’s right to only be contacted by the lawyer. Even if a consumer hires a lawyer, debt collectors continue calling the consumer after the lawyer has been retained.
- The third most common violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a violation having to do with threats to garnish, threats of a lawsuit, threats to put a lien on your property. Remember, under the FDCPA, debt collectors can only threaten whatever they can do here and now, what they have the legal right and ability to do. If all they have is an account and they haven’t filed suit and haven’t gone to court and they haven’t got a judgment against you, they can’t garnish your wages, they can’t put a lien on your house, they can’t do anything really except threatening you illegally and those threats violate the FDCPA.
- The next most common violation is asking for more money than is due and owing. Now we’ve done many cases on this. We’ve done class actions on this and very common classic FDCPA violation. Debt collector tack on amounts that aren’t, tack on fees, ask for check fees, over the phone fees, whatever they ask for, if it’s not in the agreement or if it’s not specifically provided for by state law they may not ask you for money and if they do, you may have a right to collect against them.
- Finally, the fifth most common violation is the failure to validate. When you get your initial letter from the debt collector, that letter entitles you to ask for validation, for proof that the money is actually owed. You can do that and the debt collector has to provide the validation for you.
Until they do, they cannot ask you for money. Most debt collectors forget to do this. They continue calling you even after you’ve disputed the debt and asked for validation. It’s the fifth most common violation.