When it comes to debt collection, there are two types of people involved in the equation. They are the one doing the collecting and the one who is supposed to pay. Both have rights that they can exercise. If a debt is owed to a business, the business can collect. They can hire an Oshkosh collection and consumer law lawyer to help them with this. However, they are to not violate a consumer’s rights. If a collection agency or another entity collecting a debt violates the rights of the consumer, the consumer can hold them liable.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act And State Statutes
There are two statutes in Wisconsin that govern debt collection. Collectors have to abide by the rules or they could be fined for violations. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the federal statute that governs debts but only applies to the third-party debt collectors and not original creditors. Original creditors must comply with state laws that apply to them.
The FDCPA says that third party creditors, such as collections agencies, can’t do the following:
- Use violence or threatening force.
- Threaten criminal prosecution.
- Damage the consumer’s creditworthiness reputation by knowingly reporting or threatening to report false information.
- Initiate threatening communication with the consumer’s employer before obtaining a judgment against the consumer. However, the creditor can verify employment status, earnings, or when the employer has a debt counseling procedure or service.
- Threaten anyone or disclose information to anyone other than the consumer’s spouse that could affect reputation. If the person the information is being given do doesn’t have a legitimate business need for the information, it shouldn’t be given.
- Threatening to disclose or disclosing information about the debt when the debt has been disputed by the consumer.
- Threatening to enforce or attempting to enforce a right that doesn’t exist.
- Using threatening or obscene language when communicating with the consumer or anyone related to them.
- Communicating with the consumer or a person related to them with such frequency that it is considered harassment.
Representing Your Best Interests
If a debt collector or creditor has engaged in any of the aforementioned behaviors, you may be able to recover statutory damages and actual damages that include the emotional distress brought on by the violation. You can also recover the fees spent to bring the suit, as well as your attorney fees. Your Oshkosh collection and consumer law lawyer will file your suit on your behalf and advocate for you so you can receive the proper result in the case.
Contact An Oshkosh Collection & Consumer Law Lawyer
If you are a business needing to collect a debt, we can help you. If you are a consumer whose rights have been violated by a collections agency or another entity collecting a debt, you can hold them accountable for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Those on both ends of the spectrum have rights, but it is very important that those rights are carried out according to the law. To learn more about how the Harnitz Law Office, LLC can help you, call 920-456-9933 to request a free consultation.