Pennsylvania State Law Remedies in Addition to FDCPA Damages – Part Two: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

28 Mar Pennsylvania State Law Remedies in Addition to FDCPA Damages – Part Two: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

If you have suffered from a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, chances are that you may have suffered injuries under Pennsylvania’s version of the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) or Pennsylvania tort (personal injury) law as well.  In this segment, I will discuss intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Pennsylvania law provides recovery of damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress.  This occurs when the debt collector’s intentional outrageous conduct causes the consumer’s severe emotional distress.  The debt collector’s outrageous conduct must exceed all bounds of decency tolerated in a civilized society.  The consumer’s emotional distress does not require severe physical reaction (i.e. heart attack, stroke, etc), inability to eat, sleep, etc. is enough so long as it is severe.

An example of IIED is when a debt collector calls repeatedly and threatens to have the consumer arrested for not paying their bill.  The debt collector says that the police are on the way.  The consumer reacts with panic—watches out the windows, refuses to leave the house out of fear, has difficulty sleeping and generally feels anxious and sick.  This could be actionable as IIED.

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