14 Jul Debt Collectors Who Break The Law Are Being Sued
June 2009 will be a month to be remembered by the debt collectors and debt collection lawfirms. Consumers are suing Debt Collectors in record volume. In June, debt collection lawsuits jumped 29.6%. Webrecon, LLC reported the statistics, and it is obvious that the number of debt collection abuses are sky high.
In June, there were 848 lawsuits filed in the Federal Courts in the United States wherein consumers were seeking compensation under the FDCPA. The FDCPA is a Federal Statute which sets forth the rights of consumers and collection activities which are illegal. The statute only applies to third-party debt collectors.These suits against the debt collectors are based upon the federal statute. However, each and every state has some form of consumer protection statutes which provide consumers with a remedy against debt collectors who use harassing and abusive behavior in attempting to collect on a debt.
In Florida, we have the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act. This statute protects Florida residents from abusive debt collectors and provides consumers with the ability to sue the debt collectors in state court. So, the consumer has a choice whether they want to bring a federal or state action.
Unfortunately, as far as I know there is no way to track how many lawsuits have been filed in the state courts against debt collectors on a monthly basis. I’m sure in time there will be as each State Court house goes digital.
Likewise, there has been an increase in FCRA cases. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is another Federal Statute which protects consumers from unfair credit reporting. In June approximately 108 lawsuits were filed in the Federal Courts by consumers seeking to hold either creditors or the credit reporting agencies liable for their actions. The big three CRAs are Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
It is about time that consumers are taking action against debt collectors and creditors who do not take the appropriate steps under the law. Debt collectors who abuse the FDCPA and creditors who abuse the FCRA should be held accountable under these statutes. This growing trend will force the Courts to open their eyes to the plight of consumers all over the United States who are at the mercy of these organizations when it comes to the consumer credit game.
As the Country sinks deeper and deeper into a recession, consumer credit issues will continue to control the headlines. Since the Federal Government has not decided to give small businessmen and women a bailout, it is more important than ever for those individuals to have access to credit. One blemish on their credit could make or break their business.
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