Consumers are protected from abusive practices by the debt collection industry under a federal law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA allows consumers whose rights are violated to sue the debt collector and win attorney's fees and a $1,000 award for violation of the FDCPA.
After years of growth in the number of lawsuits filed under the FDCPA, 2012 may mark the first year in which lawsuits have declined. This year, there are projected to be more than 11,000 lawsuits filed under the FDCPA. The number has been steadily increasing for years, up from just under 4,000 in 2006.
However, the decline in FDCPA lawsuits doesn't necessarily mean that debt collectors are finally catching on to what's allowable and what's not. Instead, lawsuits claiming violations of other consumer protection laws have increased. In the first six months of 2012, lawsuits claiming a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are up 72.5 percent from the same time in 2011. Also, cases alleging a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are also on the rise.
Unfortunately, there will always be debt collectors out there who engage in shady practices in an attempt to collect a debt - or sometimes to try to collect debts that aren't owed.
If you have been a victim of a debt collector's abusive tactics, call Beverly Hills FDCPA attorney Paul Mankin at 800-654-9517. You have legal rights against the debt collectors.