Congress Passed The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act To Protect . . . Debt Collectors?
Congress Passed The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act To Protect… Debt Collectors?
Little Known Fact About The FDCPA – It Is Designed To Protect Debt Collectors!
Most people assume that the reason Congress passed the FDCPA – Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – was to protect consumers from abusive debt collectors.
This is one of the two reasons so this is correct.
But the other reason often surprises consumers — Congress wanted to protect debt collectors.
But not just any debt collectors.
Congress wanted to protect honorable . . . law abiding . . . collectors.
Protecting honorable debt collectors from who?
Crazy consumers who file frivilous suits?
There is protection against this type of misconduct by consumers but that is not why Congress passed the FDCPA and has kept it around for over 30 years.
Instead honorable debt collectors needed and continue to need protection against . . . abusive debt collectors.
Well, think of it this way.
Dishonorable abusive debt collectors have an unfair advantage in the marketplace over those who do not break the law.
That’s not fair.
Just like it is not fair to let one football team have 12 players on the field but the other team — which follows the rules — only has 11 players on the field.
I remember getting a call from a frustrated debt collection attorney in Alabama.
He had just lost a bunch of business to a new debt collection attorney.
Well, marketing is part of the business of practicing law so why was he upset?
The FDCPA says that consumers have 30 days to dispute a debt after receiving the first letter from the collector.
(You can dispute after the 30 days but there are some special things that happen with a dispute in the first 30 days).
This new collection lawyer told the clients of the older collection lawyer that he was “more agressive” and would only give consumers 14 days to dispute – not 30 days….
So the clients fired the older collection lawyer who was acting honorably and following the law.
This is one of the reasons why Congress had to pass the FDCPA – to help protect legitimate debt collectors from being at a disadvantage when competing with abusive collectors who will break the law.
Bottom line when you sue abusive collectors you are helping yourself, other consumers, and the honorable debt collectors who follow the law.
Sometimes folks will criticize you for suing abusive debt collectors.
That’s fine — there are always critics sitting on the sidelines.
But when you actually step up and sue the abusive collectors, you help the following:
First, you help yourself. You stop the abuse against you. You get money damages.
Second, you help make your community safe by discouraging debt collectors from abusing consumers in your community.
Finally, you help the debt collectors who actually follow the law.
You help remove the abusive guys from the marketplace or at least help them understand not to break the law so they are no longer abusive but instead are law abiding debt collectors.
So, when you sue, you help everyone, even (ironically) the bad guys by encouraging them to become good guys. 🙂
If you are dealing with abusive collectors, call us at 205-879-2447 and we’ll be glad to help you think through your options — including suing the bad guys.
Or you can always reach us through the contact us portion of our website.
Either way we’ll be glad to chat with you.
Talk to you soon!