Are You A Hero If You Sue Abusive Debt Collectors?


Are You A Hero If You Sue Abusive Debt Collectors?

Yes you are.

Think about stories that you like or that you tell your children.

There is always an ordinary person — or at least it appears that way — and there is a dire threat.

Some force or monster or situation that can’t be stopped.  Can’t be defeated.

Many have opportunities to stand up and fight back.

But almost no one does.

Except.

Except there is one person — a seemingly ordinary person — who makes a stand.

This person doesn’t have all the answers.  Doesn’t have all the advantages.

But this person makes a stand.

Most people, who sit on the sidelines and do nothing, say “Oh, there is no way this person will win.  He will lose.  He can’t overcome the enemy or force or monster that he is facing.  Why even try?”

Amazingly, this ordinary seeming person not only stands up to the giant (think David and Goliath) but actually wins!

Now all the people who sat around and did nothing congratulate this person.

“What courage!”

“What determination!”

“You are a hero for what you did!”

Now think about the ordinary (seemingly) person who is dealing with abusive debt collectors.

A debt collection company with thousands and thousands of employees.  Revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

This massive company turns its attention — its abusive attention — on an ordinary citizen from Alabama.

It decides to break the laws — Alabama state law and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) — in order to get money out of this ordinary person.

99+% of people abused by collectors do nothing.

This is what the abusive debt collectors/companies expects.

It expects you to do nothing.

But what if you decide to take a stand?

To say “I won’t take this kind of abuse!”

At first, the giant debt collection company looks at you puzzled.

It says in its heart “Who is this nobody who thinks she can stand up to me?”

If you stand up, the efforts to crush you increase.

And if you stand up and fight back by suing the abusive collector . . . well, now that is being bold isn’t it?

People will say “I feel sorry for this person.  He thinks he can fight back — doesn’t he know debt collectors can do whatever they want to you?”

Lawyers will shake their heads and say “No jury will ever give a consumer (who owes a debt) any money, regardless of the abuse from the debt collector.”

(We disagree because we are consumer lawyers and we know what is possible).

But if you are on the receiving end of abusive debt collectors’ practices, you can stand up and fight back.

And you know what?

The very few consumers that do this receive several types of reactions from the collection agency.

Some agencies say “OK, you caught us.  We didn’t think you would really do anything but you did.  We’ll make this right.”

Other agencies say “You can’t go through with fighting us.  We are too powerful.  Our lawyers have unlimited resources.”

But when you stay in the fight, eventually these companies say “Well, you did stand your ground.  OK.  We will give you a fair settlement.”

These companies learn and change their behavior eventually because all of the money they pay out in lawyer fees and settlements eventually cause it to be less profitable to break the law.

You, a “nobody” according to these abusive debt collectors (but really truly “somebody!”, have stood up and made a difference.  

That makes you a hero.

But there is a final type of reaction.

This reaction says “We won’t settle with you.  We know a jury will never give you money.  We will take this all the way to trial in federal court.”

As lawyers, we like this reaction.

It makes the battle lines very clear.  Nothing has been offered to our client and there is only one way to go — push forward.  We know this can be scary for our clients.  But you can push through your fears and face the company in court.

Sometimes these companies win.

Even then, they know that you fought.

They won’t forget you ever.

Think of this scene from the movie “300” where King Leonidas meets Xerxes:

Xerxes: There will be no glory in your sacrifice. I will erase even the memory of Sparta from the histories! Every piece of Greek parchment shall be burned. Every Greek historian, and every scribe shall have their eyes pulled out, and their tongues cut from their mouths. Why, uttering the very name of Sparta, or Leonidas, will be punishable by death! The world will never know you existed at all!

King Leonidas: The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even a god-king can bleed.

Even if you lose the trial, this debt collector will take note.

This debt collector will have to re-evaluate its plan to abuse consumers.

What if others stand up like you did?

What if other consumers see your example and fight back also?  You are a hero.

But sometimes you will win your case.

We have received very nice verdicts.

Others across the country have received nice verdicts.

To see the reaction on the face of the debt collector — smug, self assured, condescending towards consumers — to see the reaction when the jury comes back in the consumer’s favor with a large verdict is quite remarkable.

Trust me –after that the abusive debt collectors doesn’t view you the same.

Their contempt and disgust gives way to fear.  

Have you seen someone knock a bully down?

The only time you see fear in a bully is when they are knocked down.

When you stand your ground.

You ignored those who whispered (or shouted) that you would never win.

And you did win.

How does a regular person stand up to these enormous, wealthy, companies?

By just doing it.

Being willing to fight until you get what is rightfully yours — respect, to be treated with dignity, to not be ignored, and to make  a difference.

By being willing to see it through.

While the collectors who read this will be seething with anger, I hope that this encourages you.

Encourages you to take a stand when you are not being treated as the law demands.

Do your part to make these collectors, who think nothing of breaking the law, to have to start treating consumers with respect and dignity.

Stand up.  

Be heard.  

Make a difference.  

Be a great example to others.  

That’s what a hero does, right?  

That’s what you do, right?

If you have any questions, get in touch with us.

If you have any questions about how to handle these abusive debt collectors and be a hero, give us a call at 1-205-879-2447.

Or fill out a contact form.

We will be glad to arm you with knowledge to fight these guys.

I look forward to chatting with you!

Have a great day.

-John G. Watts


2 Comments

  1. […] thing to do — to stand up to these large companies that are willing to break the law. I wrote an article on this — “Be A Hero:  Sue An Abusive Debt Collector” I hope you enjoy it. We have some topics planned for the next several weeks but if you have any […]

  2. […] have talked before about how our system only works if you stand up to these debt collectors and sue them. […]

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