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Manassas Debt Collector Abuse Attorney

Northern Virginia Debtor Rights Lawyer

Creditor Harassment Gone Too Far?

You may or may not owe the money. Either way, credit card companies or collection agencies must adhere to the law in attempting to collect payment. If a debt collector violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you may have a claim for money damages.

The Manassas, Virginia, law firm of Thomas R. Breeden, P.C., enables you to fight back against debt collector abuse. Call us at 703-659-0188 for an initial consultation. Our attorney has helped hundreds of clients get harassing creditors to back off or win compensation from unscrupulous collection agencies.

Debt Collector Abuse — Make Them Stop and Make Them Pay

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates creditors and their “hired gun” debt collectors. The FDCPA outlaws such conduct as:

  • Harassing phone calls, e-mails or letters
  • Abusive language or profanity
  • Bothering relatives or employers after the collector has located you
  • Threats of consequences (jail, lawsuits, black marks on your credit report)
  • False statements to a credit bureau
  • Anonymous or automated phone messages
  • Misrepresenting the amount or status of the debt
  • Misrepresenting themselves as police or government agencies

Collectors must clearly identify themselves, issue written notice of the debt and allow you 30 days and an avenue to dispute the debt.

Compensation for FDCPA Violations

Victims of debt collector abuse do not have to prove actual damages (tangible loss). The collection agency is automatically subject to statutory damages of up to $1,000 plus attorney fees. Each instance of harassment or deceit is a separate violation of the FDCPA. (Save every voicemail, e-mail or mailed communication as evidence.)

Debt Collection Abuse FAQ

Is there a difference between a creditor and a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act?

Generally, creditors turn to third-party debt collection agencies, so the act usually does not apply to creditors. However, in some situations, creditors that pursue their own debt collection will be required to abide by the act’s requirements.

How many times can a debt collector call before it is considered harassment?

Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is presumed to harass a consumer if they call more than seven times within seven days about the same debt or within seven days of having a phone conversation with you about the debt. This includes calls that go to voicemail.

Can a debt collector call my friends and family about my debt?

No. With certain exceptions, such as your consent or in attempts to locate you, a debt collector may not contact anyone about your debt besides yourself and your attorney.  When they do, they generally cannot discuss the debt with the third party.

What are common forms of debt collector harassment?

FDCPA prohibits many tactics that some debt collectors use to intimidate consumers, such as:

  • Repetitive communications, such as phone calls, emails and text messages, designed to harass or abuse the consumer.
  • Obscene or profane language in communications.
  • Threats of physical violence or harm.
  • Publishing lists of consumers who have not paid their debts, except for reporting such information to credit reporting companies.

This behavior can be grounds for compensation for the consumer.

Tom Breeden has battled debt collector abuse for 30 years on behalf of consumers, with successful lawsuits against major credit card companies and collection firms. He also has worked on the other side, representing reputable collection agencies and advising them on FDCPA compliance. These insights and his trial experience enable him to assert your rights and fight for damages when collectors cross the line.

End abuse by debt collectors and hold them accountable. Contact Thomas R. Breeden, P.C., for an initial consultation at a reduced fee. We serve individuals and business owners in Prince William County, Fairfax County, throughout Northern Virginia and statewide. Call 703-659-0188 or 703-659-0188.