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Craig K. Perry
More About Abusive Debt Collectors
1. Failing to Advise You of Your Right to Dispute the Debt.
Federal law requires the debt collector to send you a letter when they within 5 days of initial contact:
"Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice..."
This notice must contain language that gives you an a 30-day window of opportunity to dispute the debt and obtain verification.
We often see cases where the debt collector fails to send this letter. Debt collectors who do not send this letter can be subject to a $1,000 fine, actual damages, attorneys fees and costs.
2. Failure to Stop Collection Efforts while Verification is Pending.
After you request verification of the debt, debt collectors are supposed to refrain from collecting until you receive verification:
" Collection activities and communications that do not otherwise violate this sub chapter may continue during the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unlessthe consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor. Any collection activities and communication during the 30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or request the name and address of the original creditor."
Sometimes, debt collectors don't stop while you are still waiting for verification.
Debt collectors who break the law can be subject to a $1,000 fine, actual damages, attorneys fees and costs.
3. Suing On Old, Time-Barred Debt
Another problem that occurs with surprising frequency is the attempt made by debt collectors and their attorneys (who can also act as "debt collectors") collecting on old debts but time has run out to do so.
"Statute of limitations" is a phrase we use in the law that simply means "time limit." Most types of lawsuits have to be filed within a certain time frame or they will be barred from doing so.
For example, in Nevada, the time limit for suing someone over a credit card debt is 4 years from the date of the last payment. The statute of limitations is sometimes ignored or miscalculated, but if you don't file an answer, they can still obtain a default judgment against you.
Does it shock you that four thousand five hundred case of improperly were improperly obtained judgments! Click here to read more.
Some states have shorter statutes of limitations, and sometimes their laws govern the contracts. In other words, some of our clients have been sued within the four years, but according to the contract, a three year time limit should have been applied from a different state.
These are just some of the types of mistakes that are made in collecting on a debt that you allegedly owe, but there are many more types of violations and mistakes that can occur.
To find out if the statute of limitations has been improperly overlooked or ignored in your case, call us at 702-550-9499 for a free consultation or email us.