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What Types of Violations Might Appear on a Debt Collection Letter?

If you’re behind on your loan payments, your creditor may send your account to a debt collection agency to collect funds from you. As they attempt to recover payment for the defaulted loan, the agency might contact you by phone or mail. While it may be intimidating and frustrating to receive constant communication from a collection agency, you still have rights and the agency must abide by regulations when contacting you, even if you have an outstanding loan.

The Role of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collectors are prohibited from using abusive or deceptive practices when contacting you – whether over the phone or through mail.

A debt collector might initially contact you by phone, but within five days of their first call to you, they must send a written validation letter that includes:

  • The name of the creditor about which they are contacting you
  • The amount you owe
  • Information on how you can dispute the debt

When you receive the validation letter, it is essential to carefully review the information to ensure the debt you are being contacted about is yours, the balance is the correct amount, the debt isn’t something you’ve already paid on, and your rights haven’t been violated.

Debt Collection Letter Violations

Because the manner in which a debt collector contacts you is governed by the FCDPA, written correspondence must abide by the terms of the act. If a collector violates these terms, you might be able to sue the collector for up to $1,000, plus attorney’s fees.

Common debt collection letter violations include:

  • Failing to include necessary disclosures: The letter must contain information about the creditor, the amount, and what to do if the debt isn’t yours
  • Misrepresenting your balance: The amount on the letter must accurately reflect what you owe the creditor
  • Providing an incorrect balance breakdown: The balance must be an accurate reflection of charges you made
  • Including additional fees or charges: The collector cannot include any charges that were not part of your original contract with your creditor
  • Misrepresenting themselves: The debt collector cannot say they are an attorney or represent an attorney, or are part of a government agency
  • Threatening legal action: Unless they intend to take you to court, the debt collector cannot threaten to garnish your wages, file criminal charges, or ruin your credit rating

Speak to the Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC About Violations of Your Consumer Rights

If you feel your rights have been violated, contact an attorney who can help pursue legal action against the collector. At the Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC, we are committed to ensuring you understand your rights under federal law and helping you determine what legal options are available to you.

Call us at (888) 301-0584 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.