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North Carolina Collection Laws

The North Carolina Debt Collection Act might be the most consumer friendly state law in the country. Consider yourself lucky if you live in North Carolina and you’re having an issue with an original creditor. The NC state law protects its residents from original creditors such as mortgage companies, credit card companies, auto loans, medical bills, and utility bills. North Carolina consumers can get damages between $500.00 and $4,000.00 under the state law. Plus, the North Carolina Debt Collection Act also has a fee-shift provision. So, you won’t pay us a penny for our fees or costs for our help stopping original creditor harassment. When we work on original creditor harassment cases, often times (depending on the amount of the debt) we’re able to get the underlying debt waived and your credit report updated.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA):

The FDCPA has been around since 1977. The FDCPA is a federal law that applies to every state. In other words, everyone is protected by the FDCPA. The FDCPA is essentially a laundry list of what debt collectors can and cannot do while collecting a debt, as well as things debt collectors must do while collecting a debt.

  • Damages:If a collection agency violates any section of the FDCPA, the consumer is entitled to damages up to $1,000.00. Additional damages are warranted in cases where the collector’s collection activities were so egregious the consumer suffered emotional distress. 99% of cases do not involve emotional distress damages.

  • Attorney’s fees: The FDCPA has a fee-shift provision. This means, the collection agency pays the consumer’s attorney’s fees and costs.

  • Debt that is covered by the FDCPA: Only consumer debt, such as personal, family, and household debts. For example, money you owe on a personal credit card, an auto loan, a medical bill, or a utility bill. The FDCPA does not cover debts you incurred to run a business, debts regarding unpaid taxes, or traffic tickets.

  • The FDCPA only applies to 3rd-party debt collectors: The FDCPA defines a debt collector as any person who regularly collects, or attempts to collect, consumer debts for another person or institution. In short, only third-party debt collectors are bound by the FDCPA. That is, original creditors, such as credit card companies and banks are not bound by the FDCPA.

Top FDCPA Violations:

  1. Communicated (phone or letter) with you after you filed for bankruptcy.
  2. Communicated (phone or letter) with you after you told the collector you have a lawyer.
  3. Called you about a debt you do not owe after you informed the collector you do not owe the debt.
  4. Called you at work after you told them you cannot receive such calls at work.
  5. Left you a message without identifying the company’s name.
  6. Left you a message without disclosing that the call is from a debt collector.
  7. Called third parties (family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors) even though the collection agency knows your contact information.
  8. Disclosed to a third party (family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors) that you owe a debt.
  9. Contacted you after you told the collection agency, in writing, to stop contacting you.
  10. Threatened you with legal action (such as a lawsuit or wage garnishment) even though the collection agency does not intend to follow through with its threat.
  11. Called you before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM.
  12. Continued to call you after you have told the collector you cannot pay the debt.

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA):

Have you ever received a phone call from an unknown but local phone number? Chances are you have, most everyone of us has, and when you answered the call you were greeted with silence or some pre-recorded message. After a few awkward seconds and repeating yourself to be removed the list, you hang up frustrated by another robot calling your phone. What do they really want, and why don’t they ever stop calling?

Fortunately for consumers, the TCPA, limits the use of automatic dialing systems, prerecorded voice messages, and unsolicited text messages. Passed in 1991, the TCPA allows for damages ranging from $500.00 – $1,500.00 per call or text. In describing the importance of the TCPA, Senator Hollings, the TCPA’s sponsor, said, “I echo Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who wrote 100 years ago that ‘the right to be left alone is the most comprehensive of rights and the one most valued by civilized man.’”

If a company has your permission to place robocalls to you, you can revoke your consent. If robocalls continue after the consumer says stop calling, the consumer has a TCPA case.

Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA):

The EFTA protects electronic payments that are deducted from bank accounts. If a company took unauthorized deductions from your bank account, you may have an EFTA claim. Most collection agencies want to set up re-occurring payments from consumers. Imagine how much money collection agencies gets if hundreds, if not thousands, of consumers electronically pay them $50-$100, or more, per month. If you a consumer agreed to this type of re-occurring payment, the company must follow certain steps to comply with the EFTA. The EFTA allows for statutory damages up to $1,000.00 and actual damages for the payments made. The EFTA also has a fee-shift provision. This means, the company pays the consumer’s attorney’s fees and costs.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA):

The FCRA works to ensure that no information reported to your credit report is false. In essence, it gives you the right to dispute those inaccuracies that you find on your credit report. Are you one of the 40 million Americans that have a mistake on their credit report? Mistakes on your credit report can be very costly. Along with causing you to pay higher interest rates, you may be denied credit, insurance, a rental home, a loan, or even a job because of these mistakes. Some mistakes may include someone else’s information on your credit report, inaccurate public records, stale collection accounts, or maybe you were a victim of identity theft. If a credit reporting agency violates its obligations under the FCRA, you may be entitled to statutory damages up to $1,000.00, plus the credit reporting agency will be required to fix the error. The FCRA also has a fee-shift provision. This means, the credit reporting agency pays the consumer’s attorney’s fees and costs.

Under the FCRA, you have a legal right to dispute and remove inaccurate information from your credit report. These inaccuracies come in three common forms:

  1. Wrong information – Untrue information such as criminal records, driving records, accounts you did not open, mixed or merged files with someone else’s information (such as a family member or someone with the same name), judgments for lawsuits which didn’t involve you, or debts you did not incur can be permanently removed from your credit report.

  2. Duplicate information – Some accounts or transactions may be listed more than once in your credit report, and it’s helpful to ensure that your report is duplicate-free to avoid appearing to have more debt or credit-related problems than you do.

  3. Old and negative information – Most types of outdated negative credit information, such as foreclosures, judgments, liens, lawsuits, and bankruptcy, can be removed after about seven years.

Submitted Comments

11 months ago
Is it unfair for a bank to report to one credit bureau but not all three?
8 months ago
eBay has lock down my account for selling - I have sent all documents needed but 3 times now they have said the items are illegible. I even sent pictures while on the phone with an agent and that person said they can see them fine. Ever customer agent I have spoke to has treated me like a criminal. The leader ship team say the will help and how sorry they are for my treatment but nothing happens . eBay has $5000 of my money locked in my account . This is my way of life and I am a single father . eBay continues to isolate and bulling me by saying my account will be closed permanently and my money lost . I want to sue eBay for unfair practice and threatening my way of life , I have had severe panic attacks that have caused me to go to hospital. I need an attorney to step in . eBay is can not be allowed to bust up someone’s life and just walk away . Please, contact me
8 months ago
I got a call that said they were from “department of legal services”, but when I called the number, the recording said “Alliance Mediation Group”. In the message, Michelle said “I received an order on you and there are two new charges”. I have no idea what this is about
7 months ago
Navy federal took over 6k from our tax refund that was deposited in our account without informing us. They took it because of a credit card through them that was closed in 2014 that they sold off and then bought back a couple years ago. Is this legal? We were not informed this would happen or even informed that they had bought it back (they have taken money before)
6 months ago
Allegiant Captial Recovery called me and left a very generic message that the rep needed to discuss a matter with me. They then immediately called my brother and told him the same thing. When I called the number (833-386-7700), the same rep, Sharma I think, asked for my name and proceded to disclose a bunch of information about the debt without further verifying my identity. I\'d like to also discuss a summons I received from another collector.
6 months ago
Hi, my name is Paula Pingel. Our family believes we have enough information to file a class action lawsuit against Discover Student Loans. We know how difficult it might be to get a law firm to do this, so we are looking for representation against the civil suit that Discover just filed against us. Over the past 10 years, we have had first-hand experience with, and data on, Discover Student Loan tactics that violated our rights (the right to gainful employment, right to fair treatment, deceptive business practices) and demonstrated predatory banking behavior, specifically around forbearance. About 2 years ago, per the advice of a student loan attorney, we decided to default on the loans since they were unaffordable. We knew this would further wreck our credit scores and ability to acquire assets. We did this to bring Discover\'s behavior into the light from a victim\'s perspective. It has already been brought into the light by the CFPB, and by various other consumer complaints. We have now been served in a civil lawsuit by Discover and would like your firm to represent us in this suit.
2 months ago
On July 26, 2023 the personal property belonging to the Secured Party Derrick Lamar Reese (Derrick Reese) UCC-1 No.: 20220109942B, the Secured Party is the debtor in this transaction and no personal property belonging to Derrick Reese should be illegally repossessed.