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Debt Collection Law

Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

What is the law on debt collection?  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has been around for almost 35 years. The FDCPA is a federal law that applies to every state.  In other words, everyone is protected by the FDCPA.  Its purposes are to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts, to promote fair debt collection, and to provide consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information’s accuracy.  The FDCPA creates guidelines under which debt collectors may conduct business, defines rights of consumers involved with debt collectors, and prescribes penalties and remedies for violations of the FDCPA.  The FDCPA is essentially a laundry list of what debt collects can and cannot do while collecting a debt, as well as things debt collectors must do while collecting a debt.

What Practices Are Off Limits For Debt Collectors?

False statements: Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, debt collectors may not:

  1. Falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;
  2. Falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
  3. Falsely represent that they work for a credit reporting company;
  4. Misrepresent the amount of money you owe;
  5. Indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they are not; or,
  6. Indicate that papers they send to you are not legal forms if they are.

Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying that:

  1. You will be arrested if you do not pay your debt as stated in Debt Collection Law;
  2. They will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages, unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so; or,
  3. Legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal, or if they do not intend to take the action.

Debt collectors may not:

  1. Give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company;
  2. Send you anything that looks like an official document which also contains debt collection law from a court or government agency if it is not; or,
  3. Use a false company name.

Unfair practices: According to the Debt Collection Law, debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt.  For example, debt collectors may not:

  1. Try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt–or your state law–allows the charge;
  2. Deposit a post-dated check early; or,
  3. Take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally.

Debt Collection Law Protects You

If you have been the victim of debt collection harassment, whether they called you excessively, threatened you, called you at work despite knowing you cannot receive these type of calls at work, disclosed your debt to a third party, tried to collect a debt from you that you did not owe, or left you a voicemail message without the proper disclosures, contact Mike Agruss Law, for a free case evaluation.  Based on the Debt Collection Law, debt collector who fails to comply with any provision of the FDCPA is responsible for any actual damages sustained, punitive damages, and statutory damages up to $1,000.00.  Plus, the FDCPA has a fee-shift provision.  This means, the collection agency pays your attorney’s fees and costs.  Founding attorney, Michael Agruss, has settled over 1,500 debt collection harassment cases.  Now, Mike Agruss Law, wants to help you, too.

Submitted Comments

4 years ago
Convergence receivables told me that they told a third party person that I have no recognition of knowing especially as my spouse. They told them details of this judgment. This is all supposedly being recorded. And convergence receivables isn't the original debt holders. That was us bank which was paid in full in 2006. Which sol was 5 years of last payment date. But in 2009 they took me to court when . I was awaiting transfer to doc. So which at that time I was under the influence and wasn't comprehending what was happening and was forced to sign that it was my debt.And had conflict of interest of the judge at that time. Cause he was my lawyer for the case I was in jail for at that time. Also why no contact from C.R. until. The last month of the 10 years since the aggreement of debt which I was under the influence and had no right signing paperwork to anything. Its been revived cause my show cause wasnt good enough to judge of not reviving due of sol and fpa he says those are terms that I cant use without an attorney present. Now is that right. Why cant I use the same knowledge as you guys have. That right there is dismissal of prejudice if iv ever seen. I just want this resolved so third party debt collectors cant file motions on time based accounts. Or so called zombie accounts. And file motions for revival without the defendant knowing anything about it so they can win in default. What I dont understand is the filed for garnishment but dismissed it before court date just to make the account active before the 10 year sol time. But if you have been wanting your money and trying to contact me for 10 years why dismiss tbe garnishment and not show up to court. But judge still revives it with all that information cause I dont have a lawyer. And original debt is from us bank where I have paperwork stating there agreement with them that they cant come after account holders for repayment of something that has been paid in full.

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