A claim filed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is like any other lawsuit; there is no way to tell exactly how long it will take. While some lawsuits are settled quickly, others can drag on for months, and it all depends on the specific facts of the case such as the strength of the evidence and the collection agency being sued.
Strength of the Evidence
The strength of a debtor's evidence can be a major factor in how quickly a case under the FDCPA is concluded. If the evidence is strong that the debt collector violated the law, the collector may chose to settle right away. For example, if a collector deposited a post dated check before the date on the check or mailed the consumer a postcard, it might be difficult for them to prove they did not violate the FDCPA. Conversely, if the consumer's claim is based on profane or obscene language a debt collector used during an unrecorded telephone call, it may be more difficult to prove a violation and the collector may not be willing to settle outside of court.
Collection Agency Being Sued
Another factor that can affect how long a case under the FDCPA takes to settle is the collection agency being sued. Many larger collection agencies assume that at some point an employee will violate the law and keep a law firm on retainer for such instances. Attorneys for these agencies are experienced in FDCPA claims and can keep them moving along quickly, or if the evidence suggests that they should settle, come to fast agreement with the plaintiff. Smaller or new agencies may not have much experience with FDCPA suits and might take longer to decide to settle or drag out the case in an attempt to fight the claim.
How Can I Settle My Case Quickly?
If you believe that you have a claim under the FDCPA and wish to settle it quickly, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced FDCPA attorney. Not only can experienced counsel move your case to completion in a more timely manner than you might be able to on your own, but he or she can most likely get you a better settlement that may include monetary damages, court costs and attorney fees, cessation of collection attempts, and in some cases a waiver of the debt the agency is attempting to collect.
If a debt collector or creditor is harassing or abusing you, or of you have filed a lawsuit against one and think you may need any attorney, please contact our office at 1-800-219-3577, for a free, no obligation consultation.