California Harassment Claim Attorney
Call a CA Collection Harassment Lawyer Today!
WE CAN STOP THE HARASSMENT, PERIOD.
In California, once a creditor or collector knows you are represented by a lawyer, they can no longer contact you. They cannot call you, email you, write you or in any way contact you to collect a debt. Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC can be your lawyer and will immediately advise the creditor/collector to cease contacting you. This is the quickest and easiest way to get calls and mail to stop. If you are a California resident and want all calls to stop, call us now so we can END THE HARASSMENT TODAY.
Two Types of Calls:
1) The caller is very vague about who they are:
Be very concerned about the caller who will not tell you who they are, refuses to send a letter, won’t provide any contact information, or is unable to provide any account verification. There are many scams out there! Scammers will call people who don’t even owe any money. Never give any money to anyone without some proof of the account, of what you are paying, and who you are paying. Never give out any banking or credit card information.
2) The caller who will provide account information and is demanding payment:
Although they are generally not a scam, it is important to know who you are talking to, exactly what account is at issue, and have a copy of the written payment terms. Any collector who refuses to provide a written agreement should not be paid. Don’t forget that these are paid professionals who typically get paid according to how much they collect. They are not there to help you. They are there to help themselves and the companies they work for.
What is Collection Harassment?
The very first line of the Federal Harassment Law (the FDCPA) states:
“There is abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors”
Examples of what is Abusive, Deceptive, and Unfair are:
- Asking you to pay more than you owe
- Asking you to pay interest, fees, or expenses that are not allowed by law
- Calling repeatedly or continuously
- Use obscene, profane, or abusive language
- Call before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm
- Call at times the collector knew or should know are inconvenient
- Use or threaten to use violence if you don’t pay the debt
- Threaten action they cannot or will not take
- Illegally inform a third party about your alleged debt
- Repeatedly call a third party to get your location information
- Contact you at work knowing your employer doesn’t approve
- Fail to send a written debt validation notice
- Ignore your written request to verify the debt and continue to collect
- Continue to collect on the debt before providing verification
- Continue collection attempts after receiving a cease communication notice
And there are many more…. Call us to see if what you are experiencing is a violation of the law.
What if I am a Victim of Collection Harassment?
The Law says:
“Any debt collector who fails to comply with any provision…is liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of:
- Actual Damages sustained (things such as lost wages, pain, humiliation, medical expense, etc.)
- Additional Damages…. Not exceeding $1000
- The costs of the action (court costs)
- Reasonable attorney fees
Therefore, the collector or creditor who violates the law is obligated to pay you these sums. This is designed to discourage the collector or creditor from continuing to engage in abusive, deceptive, and unfair conduct.
We charge a “contingency fee” which means we do not get paid unless we are successful. There is no charge to you for us to represent you. If we win, we will get paid. If we lose, we will not get paid. It is that simple. The law provides that if your case is successful, the creditor or collector must pay your reasonable attorney fees.
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM ANY ABUSIVE, DECEPTIVE, OR UNFAIR ACTS BY COLLECTORS OR CREDITORS, WE CAN HELP. CALL OR EMAIL US NOW.
If you’re in debt (and even if you’re not) and have been contacted by anyone, both California and federal laws limit what debt collectors can say and do.
If you’re represented by an attorney, they can’t even contact you.
Federal law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair or deceptive practices to collect from you. In California, this also applies to creditors. The law covers personal, family and household debts. It doesn’t cover business debts.
For example, a collector may not contact you at inconvenient times, such as early mornings or late evenings. Other regulations require every collector to send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contacted you. It must include the name of the creditor to whom you owe the debt and how to proceed if you don’t owe the money.
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors may not harass, oppress or abuse you or any third parties they contact, knowingly make false statements or claim a debtor will be arrested. A collector may not claim that property will be seized, wages garnished or interest or fees charged unless these actions are allowed by law.
You have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, the judge can require the collector to pay you damages suffered due to the illegal collection practices. The judge can order the debt collector to pay you up to $1,000, even if you can’t show you suffered actual damages. You can be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees and court costs.
The California statute is the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA).
Both laws give debtors the right to limit contacts by a debt collection agency, the right to specify periods when and where contacts with the debtor may and may not be made, the right to dispute a debt and require a debt collection agency to investigate its validity and amount. They both cover debt collectors (people who, in the normal course of business, collect consumer debts). Consumer debt is incurred by a person to purchase personal property, services or obtain money on credit, for personal, family, or household purposes. Neither statute covers business debts.
The biggest differences between the statutes are that the California statute applies to creditors (not just debt collectors) and unlike federal law, California law prohibits some actions by consumers (such as going into debt without intending to repay it or knowing there’s no reasonable probability of being able to repay it).
Under the RFDCPA, if a debtor informs a debt collector or creditor to cease communications in writing, upon receipt of the cessation request, the debt collector or creditor must stop communications, with the exception of an acknowledgement that communications will cease or a notice the debt collector or creditor intends to pursue a specific action. Communications must also stop if the debtor informs the collector or creditor in writing that he/she refuses to pay.
The RFDCPA prohibits the use of physical force, illegal means, or threatening to use such tactics, to collect a debt. Further, debt collectors and creditors cannot use false or deceptive statements to collect a debt.
A debtor can sue a debt collector or creditor for violating the RFDCPA and seek damages suffered as a result of a breach of the law, a civil penalty between $100 and $1000 as well as attorney’s fees.
Violating the FDCPA or California’s RFDCPA will not excuse a debtor from paying a valid debt. However, if a violation can be shown, it may make the plaintiff more interested in a reasonable settlement.
If you’ve been contacted or harassed by a debt collector, contact us so we can talk about your situation. We can discuss the collector’s tactics and whether or not they violated the law. You may have valid legal defenses against collection. We can discuss your options, such as defending you in a collection action or negotiating a favorable settlement.