What Damages Can You Recover Under The FDCPA Against Debt Collectors?

What Damages Can You Recover Under The FDCPA Against Debt Collectors?

You’ve made the decision to sue an abusive debt collector.

Now you’re wondering, “what kinds of damages can you get under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?”

Two types — statutory and actual damages.

One is to encourage you to sue abusive debt collectors to stop them from abusing people and the other is focused on you to make sure you are compensated for your injuries from having to deal with debt collectors who break the law.

Statutory Damages Are To Encourage You To Sue Abusive Debt Collectors

Statutory damages are to be awarded even if the debt collector did not harm you — as long as it broke the law.

We look at the conduct of the defendant debt collector to determine what amount to award — up to $1,000.

This number hasn’t changed since 1977 but it is still some incentive for you to pursue a lawsuit.

This encouragement makes sure that collectors who break the law are sued so they won’t have an unfair advantage over honorable law abiding debt collectors.

Along with attorney fees that abusive collectors have to pay your attorney, debt collectors will slowly but surely get the message not to break the law.

Actual Damages Are To Compensate You For The Harm The Debt Collectors Have Caused You

Statutory damages are to encourage you to sue but actual or compensatory damages are to make sure that the harm caused you is made right.

The only way this can be done is by awarding money damages to you.

Actual damages can compensate you for loss of income is you lose your job due to an abusive debt collector; monetary loss for false credit reporting, and most commonly for emotional distress or mental anguish caused by the abuse.

What is this?

This is when the collector causes you unnatural stress — causes you to lose your joy because you have some lunatic calling your neighbors or threatening you or stealing money out of your bank account.

Whatever the collector is doing, a jury can consider how this has affected you and using its collective wisdom and experience award you damages to compensate you.

Debt Collectors Need To Pay The Damages They Owe You

You see when debt collectors break the law they break a promise to society.

They agreed to follow the rules and the law but they have chosen not to.

There is a price to pay for doing this.

If you don’t sue, then that price is not paid.

This encourages the debt collector (and others watching) to break the rules.

Because they learn they can break the rules and suffer no consequences to doing so….

You have to think not only about yourself and the harm done to you but also that if you let the collector who breaks the law get off for free, you are encouraging abusive debt collectors to continue to break the law.

But when you sue — when you demand that the price be paid — then collectors understand that there are consequences to their illegal actions.

So do your part and make these collectors pay the damages they are obligated to pay.

Contact Us.

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We will be more than happy to chat with you!

Have a great day.

John Watts
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  1. Collier says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Having the insight and knowledge that John has provided me, I’ve seen the results: defending yourself when there is a clear violation of your rights not only sends a message to organizations that violate the law knowingly cannot continue doing business like this without major consequences.

    • JohnGWatts says:

      Thanks for the comment. Each victory is a step — even a small step — to a more complete victory. The bad guys only win if we bury our heads in the sand… Thanks to you guys for not doing this — instead you are fighting back and making a difference!!

      John Watts

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