Understanding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

In 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was created in order to protect consumers from harassment at the hands of debt collectors. At Atlas Consumer Law, we have filed lawsuits on behalf of clients whose consumer rights have been violated during the bankruptcy process or after debt discharge. The law contains language that prohibits “abusive and deceptive” behavior and tactics by creditors against debtors. If you are being harassed by creditors, you need to speak with a Chicago consumer law attorney as soon as possible.

  • Examples of FDCPA violations include the following:
  • Creditor calls that occur before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Reporting false and negative information on a consumer’s credit report
  • Repeated and continuous phone calls to annoy (dozens of daily phone calls)
  • Contacting a debtor that has known legal representation
  • Use of profane language
  • Use of threatening language

We are extremely knowledgeable regarding FDCPA matters, including landmark court cases, such as Brim v. Midland Credit Management, Inc. et al, Johnson vs. MBNA Am. Bank, and Brooks v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., et al, to name a few. We can carefully review the details of your case and file a lawsuit on your behalf if we identify a FDCPA violation.

  • Did you know…In Illinois, debt collectors may not be able to sue you after 5 to 10 years? Like any lawsuit, debt collection lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations. This means, after a certain amount of time, the collector isn’t permitted to seek payment from you through a lawsuit. Additionally, creditors are not allowed to threaten you with any legal action unless they intend on following through. According to Illinois laws, open and unwritten agreements are subject to a 5-year statute of limitations, while written contracts give creditors a 10-year window.
  • Did you know…You can’t in “inherit” debt when a loved one passes away? You only have to pay back loans you take out. In other words, you can’t inherit your parent’s credit card debt or other financial obligations when they die unless you co-signed the loan. Although the laws are generally clear regarding debt inheritance, debt collectors may still try to make you think you owe money when you don’t. In reality, it is unlawful for a debt collector to even contact you regarding payment for debts that aren’t yours.
  • Did you know…Most debt collectors are willing to negotiate with you? If you’re behind on your payments, avoiding creditors may not be the best idea. That’s because most creditors are willing to negotiate with you – especially if you’re working with a consumer lawyer. Depending on the creditor, you might be able to lower the amount you owe, extend the amount of time you have to pay the loan, etc. Often times, debt collectors will negotiate with you if they think it will help you avoid bankruptcy. Every person’s financial situation is unique though, so speak with a legal representative to determine the best course of action for you.

What kind of damages are you entitled to as a consumer?

By filing a lawsuit, we may be able to obtain compensation — or damages — for you. After being subjected to unlawful harassment, you deserve to be fairly compensated. We will utilize our aggressive litigation skills in order to pursue justice.

  • Some monetary damages that are available due to FDCPA violations include:
  • Physical distress
  • Lost income due to harassing calls at work
  • Recovery of wage garnishment
  • Emotional distress
  • Attorney fees

Why are your attorney fees paid by creditors? Your attorney fees will be paid by debtors because without this provision, many debtors would choose not to take legal action against at-fault creditors. The law is on the side of consumers.

Speak with our Chicago consumer lawyers today!

If you are suffering from creditor harassment or other unlawful practices, we wish to help you through our Protect The Discharge program. No FDCPA case is too complex for our legal team to handle. You can turn to us with absolute confidence in knowing that you are being represented by a law firm with an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau!

For the aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation you need for your FDCPA matter, call us as soon as possible.

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