Regulators from five states, including Minnesota, recently filed a lawsuit against three different debt collection agencies for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These state regulators were successful with their allegations. According to the settlement reached, the offending debt collection agencies must pay a $500,000 fine. In addition, they agreed to reimburse consumers for unnecessary charges, and establish a system to manage compliance. Hopefully, this latest victory against abusive debt collectors sends a message to others that violate the FDCPA. They won’t get away with these violations forever, and consumers don’t have to deal with their mistreatment.
How these Three Debt Collection Agencies Violated the FDCPA in Minnesota
In addition to more minor abuses, the three debt collection agencies in question committed two major offenses against Minnesota consumers. First, they made phone calls to numbers marked “do not call.” They did this for the sole purpose of meeting revenue goals, even though the action clearly violates FDCPA provisions. Namely, debt collectors must limit calls made to a consumer’s place of employment. To put it in simple terms, debt collectors aren’t supposed to bother you at work just to make more money.
Next, these debt collection agencies were slow to process payments made by Minnesota residents. Instead of crediting payments on the days they received checks, they waited until the checks cleared. This usually took four to five days, and made it seem that many of the consumers were “late” with their payments. Because these consumers were then forced to pay fees and extra interest charges, the debt collectors must reimburse them as part of the settlement.
How Minnesota Consumers Can Protect Themselves against other Abusive Debt Collection Agencies
When Minnesotans receive phone calls and letters from debt collection agencies, they should remember that their rights are protected. Even if they owe money, debt collectors must treat them with courtesy and respect. They must also abide by debt collection laws established by the FDCPA. So, consumers should report debt collectors that exploit them in order to increase their profits.
Therefore, it is harassment if a debt collector calls you at work after you’ve told them it is inconvenient. Also, if debt collection agents don’t process your payments in a timely fashion, you can file an FDCPA complaint against them. In fact, if debt collectors mistreat you in any way or do anything that seems suspicious, you can at least make them stop, and possibly bring a lawsuit against them.
The easiest way for Minnesota consumers to deal with debt collector harassment is to contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Minnesota. When you call us, an experienced FDCPA attorney will carefully evaluate your complaints for free. From here, we will do whatever it takes to end the harassment, including filing a lawsuit against the offending debt collector(s). Also, none of the services we provide cost our Minnesota clients anything out of pocket. This is because the FDCPA makes the bad guys pay. In other words, under this statute, the defendants in successful actions cover our costs and fees. In many cases, our clients even receive damage payments from debt collectors that commit FDCPA violations.
The Free and Legal way to End Debt Collector Harassment
At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve had years of experience when it comes to stopping debt collector harassment. We’ve also been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. 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 (612) 235-4458 or sending him a message through our contact page.