If you’ve been sued by a debt collector and aren’t sure what to do, call the attorneys at Murff Law Offices to discuss your case during a free, no obligation consultation.
Hundreds of Utahan’s are sued on debts every week and very few defend themselves or fight back. Don’t let a creditor obtain a default judgment against you. Even if you know you owe the original debt, there are many cases where debt collectors have incorrectly added interest, fees, and penalties to your debt that you may not actually owe. You have rights and options, and in these cases, there are good reasons to defend yourself. You may even be entitled to damages and recovering your attorney’s fees if a creditor is found to have wrongfully sued you with an incorrect balance. If you’ve been served a lawsuit, call Murff Law Offices right away to discuss your case and determine your best options.
How Do I Know if Creditor Is Wrongfully Collecting?
Under the Fair Debt and Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are bound by many rules limiting how they can collect. Debt collectors legally cannot:
- Call you before 8am or after 9pm.
- Call you at work more than once.
- Call third parties (the only person debt collectors can contact on multiple occasions apart from you is your spouse if you have one) more than once to try to locate you.
- Tell anyone else (apart from your spouse) that the collector is trying to collect a debt from you.
- Contact you after you have written to the debt collector and asked them not to contact you.
- Tries and collect on a debt that is not valid.
- Debt collectors cannot lie to you or use deceptive methods in trying to collect a debt.
- Leave a message on an answering machine without saying that the collector is trying to collect a debt; he or she must leave his name and his company.
- Sue or even threaten to sue on a debt that you have not made a payment on for more than four or six years depending on the type of debt.
- Say or imply anything about arrest, going to jail, or the like.
- Threaten to sue you when the collector has no intention of doing so [this usually happens when you have been given a deadline to do something (usually make a payment) and if the deadline goes and they have not sued you, that is a violation].
- Threaten to garnish your wages without explaining that first the creditor must file suit and get a judgment.
- Say or imply anything about taking cars, furniture, or any other property and putting liens against your property – again a debt collector has to first sue you and obtain a judgment against you before it can do this.
What is the penalty for violating the FDCPA?
If you win an FDCPA complaint, the judge can require the collector to pay you for any damages you can prove you suffered because of the illegal collection practices, like lost wages and medical bills. The judge can require the debt collector to pay you up to $1,000, even if you can’t prove that you suffered actual damages. You also can be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees and court costs. A group of people also may sue a debt collector as part of a class action lawsuit and recover money for damages up to $500,000, or one percent of the collector’s net worth, whichever amount is lower.
If you’ve been sued, don’t let a creditor get a default judgment against you before talk with the attorneys at Murff Law Offices.
Call or text us at 801-872-4882 to schedule your free consultation today.