Here are a few of the reasons why California consumers should never assume that debt collectors always demand the correct amount.

When debt collectors contact California consumers about debt they actually owe, they should still request validation letters. Unfortunately, some debt collection agencies may attempt to tack on illegal fees, hoping you won’t notice. Or, they might make legitimate mistakes due to inaccurate information from the original creditors. Either way, no consumer in California should pay more than necessary on past-due debts. In fact, in many cases, debt collectors violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by demanding inaccurate amounts from consumers. Also, if indebted Californians take action against these FDCPA violating debt collection agents, they can sometimes sue them for damages.

When California Consumers Sue Debt Collectors for Violating the FDCPA

Recently, a California consumer from San Diego County filed a complaint against CMRE Financial Services Inc. over an alleged FDCPA violation. The plaintiff in the case is Valorie Moser. She claims that this debt collection firm pursued her for more than she actually owed on her outstanding debt. Specifically, Moser claims that she was a debt collection letter demanding $135.52 for medical services. However, the debt collector lists the original creditor balance as $67.65, but this amount is listed twice. Also, the same creditor reference number and date accompanies both listings.

Moser’s legal council has filed her complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. She seeks actual damages, statutory damages totaling $1,000, attorney fees, court costs, interest charges associated with the debt, and punitive damages. At this time, the jury has not yet reached a verdict. Yet, if the court decides in favor of the plaintiff, her awarded damages could easily top the original amount of the outstanding debt.

How California Consumers Should Deal with Debt Collectors that violate the FDCPA

No matter what, California consumers should always ask for validation letters from debt collectors. According to the FDCPA, when debt collectors make first contact with consumers by phone, they must send written validation notices with five days of initial contact. Even if you know that the debt is yours, validation is necessary to ensure that the amount demanded by the debt collector is accurate. Just as the abovementioned case illustrates, debt collectors can make mistakes or intentionally inflate debts.

In addition, consumers in California with past-due debts should know that they have additional rights under the FDCPA. For example, debt collectors must treat all consumers with respect and dignity. They may not threaten or belittle California consumers, or use harsh language when speaking to them. Debt collection agents are also not permitted to call at inconvenient times or discuss consumer debt with third parties.

However, if you experience mistreatment from a debt collector, you can make them stop – and possibly collect damages for FDCPA violations. Yet, you don’t have to stand up to debt collectors on your own. Instead, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in California. When you call our firm or fill out the contact form on our website, an experienced FDCPA attorney will go to work immediately on your behalf. We will end the debt collector harassment and possibly get you payment for damages if we file a successful action against the offending debt collection agency.

How to Stop Debt Collector Harassment in California

Don’t put up with abusive debt collectors. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been ending debt collector harassment and cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in cases that are settled. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (855) 956-2089 or sending him a message through our contact page.

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