One of the most important things to remember when dealing with the Debt Collection Industry is that all FDCPA guidelines still apply even though a creditor has settled a dispute with an Auto Group or Lender. When a consumer fails to make a payment as scheduled and is in turn contacted by phone or mail from the collection agency, it is considered harassment and under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the agency is required to cease and desist contact.
However, even if the collections agent is following the letter of the law and has a legitimate reason to question the debtor’s credibility, the collector cannot violate the consumer’s right to privacy nor can he/she violate the right to confidentiality of the account holder. If the above mentioned guidelines are not followed, the consumer may be subject to a permanent lawsuit under the Stipulated Settlement and Refinitive Damages clauses.
Atlantic Auto Group Lawsuit
In cases of phone harassment of the alleged debt collector can be liable for a federal or state law suit. If the caller continues to call incessantly, and the debtor repeatedly requests that the person stop contacting them, then it may become necessary to take the matter to the courtroom.
Many times, once a lawsuit is filed, the debt collector is required to stop any and all phone harassment efforts and if they refuse; they may be forced to remove the names of their company from all telephone directories.
Another situation where both parties need to be careful is when a third party lien holder files a complaint with their credit reporting agency.
If the debtor does not follow through on their threat to sue the third party for breach of contract and non-payment, this could result in a negative comment being placed on their credit report. The comment would indicate that the debtor did not follow through on a threat to file a lawsuit against the third party. This would severely damage the credit rating of the debtor and would prevent them from obtaining any type of credit in the future.
In addition to damaging a credit report, these types of actions can also have other negative consequences.
For example, there are laws in place that protect consumers from phone harassment. Unfortunately, many times those who are receiving the phone harassment fail to report the incident to authorities. This is causing the companies collecting the debt to continue harassing the wrong person and accumulating excessive phone calls.
In addition to ruining the life of the wrong person, harassing phone calls are expensive to the collector.
Often times, the more harassment they receive, the more money the collector will be required to pay to pursue the call. This means that the more outrageous the behavior, the more money the collector will be required to pay out of pocket. This is a very harsh and difficult situation for all parties involved, but fortunately there are steps that a consumer can take in order to avoid incurring such high costs.
By taking a few simple precautions, the consumer has the ability to stop collection agencies from harassing them and also ensure that they do not incur excessive costs due to legal action.
By taking action, the consumer is not only protecting their rights, but also doing their part to help ensure that the rights of others are upheld. If the recipient of the harassing calls is not aware that they have rights, taking action to stop collection agencies from contacting them can be an extremely simple matter of taking notice of their legal rights.
Such action is necessary because in the past, many people were not even aware that they had rights. However, if the recipient knows that they have rights, stopping these companies from harassing them through phone calls or sending debt collectors to their home can be easily achieved.