FDCPA: What are punitive damages against abusive debt collectors?

FDCPA: What are punitive damages against abusive debt collectors?

FDCPA: What are punitive damages against abusive debt collectors?So you’re suing an abusive debt collector under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), and you’re wondering, “How do I get punitive damages under the FDCPA?”

This is actually a bit of a trick question.

You can’t get punitive damages under the FDCPA.

If you only sue a debt collector for punitive damages, it won’t happen under the FDCPA.

However, almost every case we’ve had against abusive debt collectors under the FDCPA, we’ve also sued under state law.

This includes invasion of privacy, malicious prosceution, etc.

There are all sorts of reasons that we can sue, in Alabama, against abusive debt collectors.

Generally, under an Alabama state law claim, we can get these punitive damages.

If we can prove that the debt collector was acting wantonly, invaded your privacy, etc, then you can be awarded punitive damages.

Now, you may be wondering, “What’s the purpose of punitive damages?”

These damages teach abusive debt collectors a lesson.

It teaches them that they will be punished if they break the law.

In addition, it discourages them from violating the law in the future.

Not just the debt collector that broke the law, but every other debt collector will see the consequences of breaking the law.

This is a powerful tool you can use.

If you’re dealing with an abusive debt collector, you should consider looking at whether or not state law can apply to your situation.

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

We would be glad to help you figure out your best course of action.

You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.

Or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you quickly.

We look forward to chatting with you

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and have a great day!

-John G. Watts


  1. Andrew Roberts says:

    Hey my name is Andrew! I live in Tallahassee Florida. Portfolio Recovery Associates have been violating the Fdcpa and Fcra. They had two accounts that they reported to my credit report. A synchrony Bank account and capital one account! About the synchrony bank account they sent me 29 harassing letters trying to collect called me 16 times while at work and when I disputed with credit reporting agencies all I get back is that the information is accurate and verified. They have been reporting this account for about 1 year 7 months which cause so much harm to my overall life. Denied credit, denied car loan. I notified synchrony bank about the unauthorized opening of the account to the fraudulent department and send me a letter saying it has been resolved and they would notify the cra to remove The account which they did but that do help with the harm they inflicted on my life. They are trying to do the same thing with capital one account now. I got a phone conversation with capital saying that the account was fraudulent and even a letter stating the same thing. After I disputed with cra with police report and all evidence equifax sent me a letter saying the were not going Remove or delete the account portfolio a Recovery Associates was reporting and then I get a even more letters from them still trying to collect after I disputed with equifax. So I am going to sue capital one, portfolio recovery and equifax in feederal court under fdcpa, fcra, fccpa, and try to also see could I get punitive damages. I need help and there is like barely no one here in Tallahassee that take on those cases!

    • John Watts says:


      I’m sorry you are dealing with this.

      If you can’t find any consumer protection lawyers in Tallahassee, try to look in other parts of Florida. Tampa or Orlando.

      Here’s a place to start — https://www.consumeradvocates.org/find-an-attorney

      I wish I could help you in Florida but haven’t taken the bar there yet. It’s on my list. 🙂

      Best wishes and I hope you are very successful against these bad guys.

      John Watts

Leave a Comment