The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is a federal law that prohibits debt collectors from treating the people who they are attempting to collect from unfairly or with disrespect. Common violations of the FDCPA include verbal abuse and harassment, failing to provide notice that they are a debt collector, contacting third parties such as employers or family members, or threatening actions that are unauthorized or illegal.
If you believe a debt collector has violated the FDCPA by doing any of the above actions you may be entitled to $1,000 in statutory damages, having your legal costs paid for, and recovery of any actual damages you have sustained due to their violation. However, you only have limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the debt collector or your case will be barred.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations in FDCPA Cases
The FDCPA requires that you file your lawsuit against the debt collector within one (1) year of the violation. So if you have a debt collector calling you at work or contacting your family about your debt issue then you have one year from the day that the collection call occurred by which to bring your FDCPA lawsuit.
If you fail to bring it within the one (1) year time period – even if you are late just one day – then your claim will likely be dismissed. The best course of action to take if you are being abused by a debt collector is to reach out to a consumer lawyer who handles FDCPA cases as soon as possible after the violation occurs so that they can evaluate your case and put together a game plan on how to proceed and get the harassment to stop.
Photo Credit: Nina Matthews