What Kind of Damages Can I Get From A Debt Collector For Violations Of The FDCPA? Part 1: Statutory

01 Apr What Kind of Damages Can I Get From A Debt Collector For Violations Of The FDCPA? Part 1: Statutory

There are three ways to receive damages from a debt collector for violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act: (1) statutory; (2) actual and or (3) special. Each of these kinds of damages require different kinds of debt collection behavior to be proved by the consumer who is fighting back against abuse.

Statutory damages are damages provided for in the Act itself. At 15 USC 1692, the Act provides that for a violation of the FDCPA, the consumer will receive $1000 in statutory damages. Courts have interpreted this to mean that even if a debt collector violates the act in many ways, when a consumer brings a lawsuit against the debt collector, $1000 can be awarded by the Court — not $1000 per violation. The consumer also can receive attorney fees and costs incurred in bringing the action. Under this section, punitive damages are not awarded. Punitive damages are damages that are intended to “punish” the behavior — a way that courts use to change behavior or to affect change in debt collector’s behavior.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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