Junk Mail: The Benefit Of Reading (And Saving) ALL Communications From Debt Collectors
No one enjoys getting letters from debt collectors. If you are one of the millions of people who owe money to credit card companies or other debt collectors, you probably receive a significant amount of mail each month looking for payment.
Receiving these letters can be very stressful for people who are dealing with unpaid debt. As a result, many people throw these letters away without ever even opening them. This is a mistake. Often, the best evidence of violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) comes mailed inside these letters.
It is quite common for debt collectors, including attorneys’ offices, to send letters containing false statements or language that violates the FDCPA when trying to collect a debt. Because most people throw these letters away, the debt collectors are rarely held accountable for their actions.
For example, one class action lawsuit alleged that FDCPA-required notices were hidden inside letters designed to look like pre-approved credit card offers. The letters in question came from NCO Financial Services and GFS Financial Solutions, and stated in bold print at the top, “Transfer your debt to a Pre-Approved+ MasterCard®!”
Many consumers threw away these letters thinking that they were credit card offers when they were actually attempts to collect a debt. Because these letters looked like standard junk mail or marketing letters, people who owed these debts were unaware that the letters triggered certain rights and obligations under the FDCPA.
The FDCPA requires that communications from debt collectors meet certain criteria. For example, letters must clearly state that the correspondence is from a debt collector, and important terms cannot be hidden in the fine print.
If you receive a letter from a debt collector, always open it and review the information inside. Make sure that you recognize the debt and the company collecting the debt, and check to see that the information is accurate. Save these letters and their envelopes and bring them to a debt collection attorney if the letter is inaccurate, misleading, or threatening.
“Junk mail” from debt collectors is often the best evidence in an FDCPA claim. For that reason, it is important that people who owe money know to retain these letters as proof of illegal debt collection tactics. While most of the letters that you receive will comply with FDCPA regulations, those that do not could be the basis for a lawsuit.
If you believe that a creditor is harassing you or in violation of FDCPA requirements, you need the help of an experienced debtor rights attorney—like those at Fitzgerald Campbell—to review your situation and discuss your options with you. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in all types of debtor defense cases and we are here to help you!
Call us today for a free consultation at (855) 709-5788, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org