Columbus FDCPA Claims/Creditor Harassment Lawyer
Have you been harassed or threatened by a debt collector in Columbus, Ohio? You should know that you have rights as a consumer under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA protects consumers from unfair debt collection practices, including threats, harassment, and even charging certain types of fees. As a consumer, if your rights were violated, you may be able to file a claim under the FDCPA. Contact our Columbus FDCPA claims/creditor harassment lawyer to get started on your case.
How the FDCPA Protects Consumers in Columbus
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in unfair debt collection practices. In order for the FDCPA to apply, the party engaging in the unfair debt collection practice must qualify as a debt collector. The law defines a debt collector as “any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collectors or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.”
When a debt collector engages in any of the unlawful practices identified in the FDCPA, it may be possible for the consumer to file a claim.
Unfair Debt Collection Practices Under the FDCPA
What specific types of practices are prohibited by the FDCPA? Debt collectors cannot take any of the following actions, and if they do, a consumer who has been affected may be able to take legal action:
- Contacting third parties about your debt unless the third party is the original creditor, your lawyer, a credit reporting agency, a codebtor, or your spouse (and if you do not want codebtors or your spouse to be contacted, you can request that those communications cease by sending a letter to the debt collector, which the debt collector must abide by);
- Contacting you at inconvenient times, including prior to 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.;
- Contacting you at work if you tell the debt collector not to contact you there;
- Using threatening language on the phone with you;
- Threatening you, including making threats to have you jailed or to inform others about your debt;
- Lying about being from a law enforcement agency;
- Lying about their identity; and
- Adding fees to any payments you make by phone or online unless your original contract allowed for such fees.
There are additional prohibited practices that you can discuss with your lawyer.
Options for Reporting FDCPA Violations
Consumers whose rights under the FDCPA have been violated may have multiple options to file a claim or to report the debt collection company. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the debt collector in state court in Ohio in order to collect damages. The FDCPA allows consumers to recover up to $1,000 from a debt collector merely for an FDCPA violation. If the consumer has suffered legal harm because of the debt collector’s violation, the consumer may be able to recover more than $1,000 in damages. In order to file an FDCPA lawsuit, you will need to file within one year from the date that the FDCPA violation occurred.
You can also report the violation to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Contact Kohl & Cook Law Firm
If a debt collector violated the FDCPA, you may be able to file a claim. Contact our experienced Columbus FDCPA claims/creditor harassment lawyer today.