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David S. Osterman, Esquire

Appointments are available Tuesday and Thursday evenings and on Saturday mornings.

40 Bay Street
Manchester, New Hampshire 03104

Tel: 603-626-5450
Toll Free: 866-855-2999
Fax: 603-626-5453

YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE FEDERAL LAW

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a United States statute added in 1978 to the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Its purposes are to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts, to promote fair debt collection, and to provide consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information’s accuracy.  The Act creates guidelines under which debt collectors may conduct business, defines rights of consumers involved with debt collectors, and prescribes penalties and remedies for violations of the Act.

Mistreated consumers may file a private lawsuit in a state or federal court to collect damages (actual, statutory, attorney’s fees, and court costs) from third-party debt collectors. The FDCPA is a strict liability law which means that a consumer need not prove actual damages in order to claim statutory damages of up to $1,000 plus reasonable attorney fees if a debt collector is proven to have violated the FDCPA. The collector may, however, escape penalty if it shows that the violation (or violations) was unintentional and the result of a bona fide error that occurred despite procedures designed to avoid the error at issue.

Our next two posts will tell you about some of the requirements Federal law impose on debt collectors.  The law is very specific about conduct that is required of debt collectors and it prohibits certain behavior by them.  In some instances, New Hampshire law is even stricter that the Federal law.

July 18th, 2012 | By admin | Filed under: FDCPA   
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