Can I Get Punitive Damages Under The FDCPA In My Alabama Lawsuit Against An Abusive Debt Collector?
“Can I Get Punitive Damages Under The FDCPA In My Alabama Lawsuit Against An Abusive Debt Collector?”
Under the FDCPA you can receive actual (compensatory) damages, statutory damages, and attorney fees.
We previously have covered the damages under the FDPCA which include:
- Actual damages are to compensate you for your injuries — whether financial or emotional;
- Statutory damages — up to $1000 — are to award you money when a debt collector has broken the law even if you have not been injured — these damages are to encourage consumers to sue to stop abusive debt collectors; and
- Attorney fees — so your lawyer will be paid and motivated to take a case even if you do not have much in the way of damages. This also greatly encourages abusive debt collectors to settle ASAP so they don’t pay their lawyers and your lawyers.
Under Alabama state law you can also receive punitive damages in the right circumstances.
We often sue debt collectors for the following which can all lead to punitive damages against the debt collector:
- Invasion of privacy — which in this context means unreasonable debt collection practices;
- Wantoness — reckless debt collection;
- Wanton training, supervision, and hiring — when a debt collector has such shoddy procedures (or no procedures) to keep control of its collectors so there is no violations, this can be a legitimate type of lawsuit against the debt collector.
The purpose of punitive damages?
- Punish the wrongdoer — in this case the debt collector; and
- Discourage the debt collector and other debt collectors from doing bad behavior in the future (they will remember the punitive damage award and say “Oh, I don’t want that. Let’s not intentionally break the law!”
To find out more about your rights and options when dealing with bill collectors that have crossed the line into harassment….
If you live in Alabama and you want to either sit down with us call us at 205-879-2447.
Or, if you prefer, you can contact us through our website.
We will be glad to get in touch with you and help you determine your best course of action.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!