What Kind of Damages Can I Get From A Debt Collector For Violations Of The FDCPA? Part 2: Actual

01 Apr What Kind of Damages Can I Get From A Debt Collector For Violations Of The FDCPA? Part 2: Actual

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. In Part 1, I discussed “statutory” damages — $1000 for a violation of the FDCPA.

“Actual” damages are those damages which the debt collector has caused. Definitely, those damages include any attorney fees and costs incurred in bringing the matter before the Court. This can include emotional distress damages if the consumer brings a claim under state law and that state’s laws provide for damages. For example, tort claims are claims for some kind of personal injury–negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress; invasion of privacy, harassment, etc. Each state’s laws are different and a consumer would need to consult with an experienced FDCPA attorney in their own state to determine which claims may be brought. My colleague, Stephen Otto, has written extensively about state law claims under the FDCPA, available on Debt Law Network.

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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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