What Compensation Can I Recover From A Debt Harassment Lawsuit?
Statutory Damages: Under the FDCPA, debt collectors who violate the law’s provisions will be liable to the harassed consumer for up to $1,000 in damages. The amount awarded will hinge on the frequency, duration, and ruthlessness of the harassment. Under the TCPA, consumers receiving robo-calls on their cell phones may be awarded up to $1,500 per phone call.
Actual Damages: Additional damage compensation may include out-of-pocket costs or compensation for emotional distress and damage such as stress-related injuries, which may include:
- Chest constrictions
- Loss of appetite
- Pain and suffering
Attorney Fees: If your suit prevails, the FDCPA permits the recovery of attorneys’ fees.
Types Of Debt Collector Harassment
Harassment by debt collectors attempting to collect consumer debts violates state and federal law. The following are examples of common scams debt collectors use to harass consumers, as well as legal regulations they often fail to follow. Typically, debt collectors commit at least one violation of the law during the first phone call and then commit many violations during the course of the collection process.
How Can An Attorney Help Me With “Zombie Debt”?
Debt collection agencies have realized the potential profitability of “zombie debt,” a term consumers have given to old debts that have gone unpaid. Collection agents purchase the old debt from the original creditor for less than its value. Then they attempt to collect the full value of the debt from consumers whom they believe will pay. If you have been contacted by a collection agency about an old debt, or a debt to which you are not legally obligated to pay, an Altman-Nussbaum-Shunnarah debt harassment attorney may be able to help you.
Follow these steps:
- Deny responsibility for the debt, even if you are unsure if you are liable.
- Avoid collectors’ traps. Your attorney should be able to recognize any tactics the collection agency employs, such as reporting old debt as new debt to the credit bureaus, making false promises about credit scores, or offering bait-and-switch credit card offers in which your zombie debt is added without your knowledge.
- Ask for proof. Your attorney should ask for proof that the debt is your legal responsibility, including a request for the original credit agreement bearing your signature.
- Check your state’s statute of limitations on debt collection. Your attorney will be able to tell you whether the window in which the debt may be collected or sought (through the courts) has closed. If the collector requests a revival to extend the statute of limitations, your attorney should draft a letter stating that your case does not meet the necessary state law requirements.
- Send a letter via certified mail demanding the collector stops contacting you and threatening legal action if they persist.
Watch your credit report to ensure it has not been negatively impacted.
What Does A Debt Harassment Attorney Do?
Our attorneys can:
- Send a letter demanding communication with the debtor stop
- Request validation and calculations of the debt
- Send a letter to contest the debt
If the harassment does not cease, your attorney may choose to file a lawsuit. In preparing your claim, your attorney can:
- Review records you have kept (i.e. logs of phone calls, texts, voicemails, etc.)
- Subpoena phone records, if necessary
- Dispatch private investigators to find information about the collector and their history
- Review current cases in which your collector may be involved
Do I Need A Debt Harassment Attorney?
Many of our clients attempted to stop harassing creditors or bill collectors on their own and were unsuccessful until they contacted our attorneys for help. Unfortunately, when a consumer tries to stop a harassing creditor without the assistance of an attorney, they may face several setbacks.
Some debt collectors will not be intimidated by consumers proceeding without an attorney and may suspect that these individuals have little to no understanding of their legal rights. Furthermore, there are several steps that must be taken to stop a harassing creditor, and, without the guidance of an experienced attorney, debtors can miss vital steps in this process.
Attempting to stop harassing creditors on your own can prove to be a difficult task, especially for those whose lives have already been disrupted by the harassment. When you hire an attorney, the debt collector must contact your legal representation—not you—in regard to your debt, which may provide some relief from the harassment.
Cease And Desist
Our consumer protection department has a successful track record of recovering damages for our clients and is one of the only firms in the country to have collected punitive damages in a debt harassment case. Our attorneys have established a practice area designed to help people harassed by debt and bill collectors. If you have been harassed or are unsure whether your debt collector’s actions qualify as harassment, please contact our office today.
Let Our Debt Harassment Lawyers Go To War For You!
Operating in numerous states, we have the qualifications and expertise to help you get the compensation you deserve for your debt harassment settlement. We have successfully represented victims in all types of personal injury cases and are here to offer free legal advice so you can get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free consultation today with one of our experienced debt harassment attorneys to understand the parameters of your case and provide you with top-tier service.