insideARM Spotlight: April FDCPA Case Law Review
Each month, insideARM provides a case law review highlighting positive, and some negative, outcomes for the accounts receivable management industry. Here are some notable cases:
Bloodworth v. United Credit Service, Inc.
The court affirmed that use of the language “will consider other methods of enforcing collection” is a threat under the FDCPA.
Velez v. Enhanced Recovery Company, LLC
The court determined that a 1099(c) disclosure contained in an initial letter was a statement that could deceive or mislead “the least sophisticated consumer” into thinking that they must pay a certain amount in order to avoid being reported to the IRS, and that settling a debt could lead to negative consequences.
United States v. Commercial Recovery Systems, Inc.
Court granted summary judgment in favor of the FTC for claims against a collection agency over clear violations of the FDCPA by impersonating attorneys and threatening arrest.
Blanchard v. North American Credit Services
The court determined that the phrase “we want to offer you the chance to pay what you owe voluntarily…” is not a threat of litigation. Furthermore, they found that directing consumers to go to a website in order to dispute a debt is not a violation of the FDCPA.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides consumers with a number of important protections. For example, debt collectors are forbidden from using threatening or profane language to intimidate a person into paying a debt. Furthermore, creditors are forbidden from contacting a debtor with known legal representation, or from making phone calls before 8:00 A.M. or after 9:00 P.M. Creditors who engage in abusive and deceptive debt collection practices may be responsible for paying damages, including compensation for attorney fees, physical and emotional distress, recovery of garnished wages, and lost income due to harassing calls at work.
If you feel you have been harassed by a creditor, you should immediately get in touch with an attorney who can help you file a claim. Contact the Chicago consumer lawyers at Atlas Consumer Law at (312) 313-1613.