Videos – Abusive Debt Collectors

Adjudication on the merits means debt collector who sued you cannot credit report on you or continue to collect against you!

So you have been sued by a debt collector (or even an original creditor).  You get the case dismissed with prejudice and then the collector (or creditor) is still collecting against you.  Is this legal or illegal?  What in the world does the expression “adjudication on the merits” mean for you (hint:  its a good thing!). Possibilities when you are sued by a collector in a collection lawsuit Judgment for plaintiff (the one who sued you) Judgment for defendant (you… (Read more)


Mental mindset when a debt collector calls you

Mental mindset when a debt collector calls you Recently, I mentioned having the mindset that a debt collector is knocking on your door.  I wanted to elaborate on this idea some more and give you another way to think about it.  Instead of being scared when the debt collector calls you (which is what they want and expect), turn it into an opportunity.  My phone rings and I answer.  The debt collector confirms who I am, and then says, “This… (Read more)


After you answer a debt collection lawsuit what should your credit report show?

After you answer a debt collection lawsuit what should your credit report show? Once you’ve been sued by a debt buyer such as Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery, or LVNV, and you’ve filed an answer, what should your credit report show? It’s excellent that you’ve answered the lawsuit. Most people fail to respond, which can be detrimental to you.  So what should the credit report show about this debt buyer? There are a few important things to look for when reviewing… (Read more)


What are debt buyers and what do they have to prove about ownership when they sue me?

What are debt buyers and what do they have to prove about ownership when they sue me? We talk a lot about “debt buyers” in our posts. Since we discuss debt buyers so frequently, I wanted to give you a definition and some examples to help you understand what a debt buyer is.  What are debt buyers? A debt buyer is somebody who claims to buy debt. These are companies like Midland Funding, Midland Credit Management, Portfolio Recovery, and LVNV. … (Read more)


FDCPA: Why debt collectors call third parties and why the cases are valuable

FDCPA: Why debt collectors call third parties and why the cases are valuable Recently, we discussed who qualifies as a third party under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Now, I want to look at why debt collectors call third parties and why these cases are so valuable.  There are two situations in which debt collectors will contact a third party.  Calling to obtain “location information” can be a legitimate reason – if they do it right. Location information… (Read more)


Can a debt buyer truly collect against me?

Can a debt buyer truly collect against me? We are frequently asked if debt buyers can really collect against a consumer.  I’ve been a consumer protection lawyer for a long time, and a big part of my practice is dealing with these debt buyers who claim to have bought a debt.  They will tell you they have bought the debt, but is this true? Do they have any right to collect?  Does it make a difference if they have bought… (Read more)


What happens with your credit report after you win your collection trial?

What happens with your credit report after you win your collection trial? When you are in court and you win, what happens with your credit report after the trial? You want the debt removed from your report, but how does this happen? Do you ask the judge?  Does this happen automatically? In this post, we’ll discuss how to wrap things up after you win.  You’ve won your court case. What happens with your credit report now?  The judge does not… (Read more)


FDCPA: Get a statement when a debt collector calls a third party

FDCPA: Get a statement when a debt collector calls a third party One of the most terrible violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that debt collectors make is contacting a third party about a debt.  What is a “third party”? A third party is anybody other than you, your spouse, or your lawyer. Everyone else in the world is a third party.  There are very strict rules about when a debt collector can contact a third party,… (Read more)


What should I do if I want to defend my own collection lawsuit?

What should I do if I want to defend my own collection lawsuit? You’ve been sued and you’ve made the decision to defend yourself in your own collection lawsuit.  You’re not going to hire a lawyer, or give up, or even settle. You want to defend yourself and fight the lawsuit.  What should you do? If possible, go to court and watch your particular judge. At the time of this article, in 2020, we are still in the middle of… (Read more)


What happens with credit reporting after you win your collection trial?

What happens with credit reporting after you win your collection trial? When you are in court and you win, what happens with your credit reporting after the trial? You want the debt removed from your report, but how does this happen? Do you ask the judge?  Does this happen automatically? In this post, we’ll discuss how to wrap things up after you win.  You go to court and you win your case. What happens now? The judge does not control your… (Read more)


Why do credit bureaus believe furnishers over consumers?

Why do credit bureaus believe furnishers over consumers? Today, I wanted to talk with you about why do credit bureaus believe the creditor, or the debt collector, or a “furnisher” over you when you do a dispute? You believe there’s something wrong with your credit report.  So, you reach out to the credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian) and tell them there is a problem with your Capital One account, your Portfolio Recovery account, or other debt collection account.  You tell… (Read more)


Example: Suing a debt collector for updating balance after pay for delete

Example: Suing a debt collector for updating balance after pay for delete Today, I wanted to share with you an example of a case we filed in the context of a pay for delete.  This is just one of the many cases we file against debt collectors for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). What is a pay for delete? A pay for delete is when you call up a debt… (Read more)


The critical difference between deleting a debt and killing a debt

The critical difference between deleting a debt from your credit report and killing a debt  Deleting a debt from your credit report is good, but the debt still lives. You can still be sued and the debt can be sold.  Think of it as a table with an object resting on top. The debt is the table and the credit report is on top of the table. If we can get rid of the credit reporting, excellent.  But the table,… (Read more)


What in the world are affirmative defenses?

What in the world are affirmative defenses? You’ll typically find affirmative defenses in Rule 8 of your Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Most states tend to follow the guidelines in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but be sure to check on your state’s specific rules.  For Alabama, the state where we practice, you can find affirmative defenses in Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 8(c). But what are affirmative defenses? I’m the defendant and I say to the plaintiff… (Read more)


Overview of a typical FDCPA lawsuit against an abusive debt collector

Overview of a typical FDCPA lawsuit against an abusive debt collector A large portion of our practice deals with suing abusive debt collectors under the FDCPA. In this article, I want to give you a big picture view of what happens when we sue an abusive debt collector.  We’re dealing with a debt collector who has violated the FDCPA and now we are suing them. What happens now? Personally, I file these cases in state court 99% of the time. … (Read more)


Can you really get mental anguish for false credit reporting against a debt collector?

Can you really get mental anguish for false credit reporting against a debt collector? When we sue for false credit reporting, we almost always make a claim for mental anguish. We have been suing debt collectors (Midland Funding, LVNV, Portfolio Recovery), credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian), and companies that furnish information to these credit bureaus for false credit reporting for many years.  In every single case, the defense lawyers come back to us and say, “We didn’t do anything wrong,… (Read more)


CFPB settles with Midland too cheap?

CFPB settles with Midland too cheap? A little over a month ago, we discussed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and their lawsuit against Encore, Midland Funding, and its associated companies. Now, they have proposed a settlement with these companies.  Ultimately, it will be up to the judge to decide whether to accept this settlement or not.  Personally, I think the settlement being proposed is very weak.  They filed suit back on September 8th, 2020. In this article we will… (Read more)


FCRA credit reporting: examples of technical accuracy

FCRA credit reporting: examples of technical accuracy A lot of times when we sue credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian) or furnishers (companies who provide information to the credit bureaus) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), they love to say “Well, yeah, but you know this is technically right. It might be a little deceptive, but it is technically right.” There are ways to argue against this. We can flip this argument over on them.  Here are some examples… (Read more)


Is it good to send a dispute letter beyond the 30-day window of 1692g?

Is it good to send a dispute letter beyond the 30-day window of 1692g? 1692g letter is what is sent to you by the debt collector which also tells you that you have 30 days to dispute. Can you send a validation notice after the 30-day period has ended? Yes, you can absolutely send a letter outside of the 30-day period. The downside is that you lose some of your rights once you are outside that 30 day period.  If… (Read more)


What’s the danger in making a payment past the Statute of Limitations?

What’s the danger in making a payment past the Statute of Limitations? Debt collectors must sue within the Statute of Limitations. If they sue on a debt that is past the Statute of Limitations (also known as a time-barred debt), they violate the FDCPA. This time period to sue will vary depending on your state and the type of debt. In Alabama, it could be 3 to 6 years. Other states can be different.  Whatever the time period is in… (Read more)


Why debt collectors hate marking your account as disputed on your credit report

Why do debt collectors absolutely hate marking your account as “disputed” on your credit report?  In this article, we will discuss what this means, why they hate doing it, and what you can do when they violate the law. What does it mean to mark an account as “disputed”? You dispute a debt when you tell a debt collector verbally or through writing that you dispute the debt.  This does not have to be specific. The dispute can simply be… (Read more)


The biggest danger consumers face when sued by a debt collector

The biggest danger consumers face when sued by a debt collector When you have been sued by a debt collector, the biggest danger consumers face arises at the beginning of the lawsuit. Recently, we discussed the time limits to respond once you have been served.  In district or small claims court, you have 14 days to respond. In circuit court, you have 30 days to respond. But what if you don’t respond? If you do not respond, you fall victim… (Read more)


4 Types of money damages you can recover under the FCRA

4 Types of money damages you can recover under the FCRA What type of damages can you get from an FCRA lawsuit? There are 4 types of damages you can recover when suing under the FCRA: Mental Anguish / Emotional Distress Economic Statutory  Punitive   Mental Anguish There is false credit reporting and you have the ability to sue.  Typically this means you have done a dispute through the credit bureau and it doesn’t get fixed.  Now, this false credit… (Read more)


Two enclosures that should be mailed with your FCRA dispute letter to a credit bureau

Two enclosures that should be mailed with your FCRA dispute letter to a credit bureau There are two things you should include in any dispute letter a credit bureau (TransUnion, Equifax, etc.)  Driver’s license or another form of government ID.  Recent bill or statement that shows your name, address, and the company name.  Why should you include these items if they aren’t required? Credit bureaus hate investigating claims. They don’t make any money from investigating claims. So, we are trying… (Read more)


My frustration with disputes people make to credit reporting agencies

My frustration with disputes people make to credit reporting agencies I have been suing credit bureaus and furnishers (companies that provide your information to credit reporting agencies) for about 20 years. During these twenty years, I encounter a frustrating mistake which is made far too often. I want to share this frustration with you so that you can avoid the same mistake.  Here’s the situation: I am contacted by a credit repair place, the client of a credit repair place,… (Read more)


Is it legal for a creditor to pull my credit reports after settling with them?

Is it legal for an original creditor to pull my credit reports after settling with them? Let’s say you’re being sued by an original creditor, Capital One, for $10,000. You settle for $5,000.  Once this has been settled, Capital One should show the balance as $0. You no longer owe them anything. If they leave it at $10k, that’s false credit reporting. If they listed the balance as $5,000 (the difference between the original amount and the amount of the… (Read more)


Statute of limitations: why debt collectors who sue you will lie about a payment

Statute of limitations: Why debt collectors who sue you will lie about a payment Why do debt collectors lie about when you last paid them, particularly when they have sued you? This happens pretty frequently. Somewhere in the documentation, in the lawsuit, or even in the courtroom the debt collector claims to have found a mysterious payment that you don’t remember making. I’ve had this happen in the middle of the trial, at the beginning of a case, and everywhere… (Read more)


CFPB sues Midland Funding and Midland Credit Management for violating FDCPA

CFPB sues Midland Funding and Midland Credit Management for violating FDCPA On September 8th, 2020, the CFPB filed a case against Midland Funding and its related companies which make up one of the largest debt buyers in the country.  This is a big deal. We have a Republican administration with a CFPB that has been scaled back considerably. But what Midland is doing is so bad that even this scaled-back CFPB decided to file suit. The Bureau of Consumer Financial… (Read more)


Debt Buyers: why they must prove they own the debt [illustration of Apple v Samsung]

Debt Buyers: why they must prove they own the debt [illustration of Apple v Samsung] When I am representing clients in court who have been sued by debt collectors or debt buyers, I’m always trying to think of illustrations to help the judge understand why, even though we may have owed a credit card debt, why we don’t owe this particular company (Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery, LVNV, etc.) The legal answer is that the debt buyers have to prove they… (Read more)


Credit reports: The original creditor and debt collector are both on my report – is this legal?

Credit reports: The original creditor and debt collector are both on my report – is this legal? How is your debt showing up on your credit reports? Let’s say I owe Discover $5,000 and this debt shows on my credit reports as $5,000 owed to Discover. Since my credit reports are accurate, I don’t need to worry about it.  Discover may send the $5,000 debt to a debt collector.  Sometimes, we will see both the original creditor (Discover, Capital One,… (Read more)


3 reasons to pull your credit reports after being sued

3 reasons to pull your credit reports after being sued At the time of this article until April 2021, you can pull your credit reports for free every week through AnnualCreditReport.com. In this article, we discuss why you should do this regularly throughout your lawsuit. Print these to PDF, save them on your computer. Then look at them and check for errors. There are three time periods we want to look at your credit reports on compared to the  lawsuit:… (Read more)


Suing your mortgage company for refusing to give you a CARES Act forbearance you were entitled to receive

The CARES Act is a powerful law that, if you qualify, entitles you to receive a forbearance on making payments on your mortgage.  But what happens when your mortgage company refuses to give you the forbearance? What can you sue for? This is a question that was asked by a consumer after our article listed above.  So here are some possibilities: FDCPA RESPA and RESPA letters FCRA State law Let’s look at these but first let’s remind ourselves of what the… (Read more)


Will debt collection explode when the country reopens from the COVID-19 shutdown?

Yes — debt collection of all types will explode when the country reopens.  Certainly, collection lawsuits will go up and eventually foreclosures will also.  The IRS will come back to life and go after taxpayers who owe money with a vengeance.  But in this article, we want to talk about “normal” debt collection in the form of calls, credit reporting, and collection letters. I say normal debt collection will go up.  Why?  Let’s discuss. Most debt collection companies are holding… (Read more)


Can a debt collector garnish my wages without a judgment?

“Can a debt collector garnish my wages without a judgment?” A big part of my job is dealing with debt collectors, and helping consumers deal with debt collectors in Alabama. This question comes up often when we’re talking with consumers, so we thought we would answer it here. Garnishment means taking your money.  So wage garnishment is where a percentage (usually 25%) of your wages is withheld from each paycheck.  That money gets sent to the court.  Who then sends… (Read more)


Are you afraid to sue an abusive debt collector under the FDCPA?

Are you afraid to sue an abusive debt collector under the FDCPA? So you’ve got a debt collector that’s collecting against you, which is fine if you really owe them the money and they are following the rules.  But what if they violate the FCDPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)? They cross the line by harassing you, calling your ex-mother in law and co-workers, threatening you, putting false information on your credit reports, etc. In addition, you’ve figured out that… (Read more)


FDCPA: What are compensatory damages against abusive debt collectors?

FDCPA: What are compensatory damages against abusive debt collectors? So you’re looking at suing a debt collector under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), and you’ve come across this concept of “compensatory damages.” Sometimes it’s called “actual damages,” but it’s the same thing. These are damages that compensate you for your loss. This could be compensation for any type of loss. Let’s say you have a debt collector that’s threatening and harassing you by calling you at all hours,… (Read more)


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… (Read more)


FDCPA Violation: Abusive Language From Debt Collectors

FDCPA Violation: Abusive Language From Debt Collectors So you’re dealing with a debt collector, and they start using harsh language towards you. Does that violate the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)? Yes, it does. When they use language that harassing or offensive, the debt collectors are breaking the law. You may be wondering, “Well, what is abusive language under the FDCPA?” It could be the debt collector cussing you out, or the collect may be making improper threats against… (Read more)


What is a removal of my case from state court to federal court?

What is a removal of my case from state court to federal court? This is where a state case is moved (“removed”) to federal court. So the case literally started in state court and now is transferred to federal court.  That’s basically what this means. This is the right of a defendant who is sued in state court if one of two things has happened. The first situation is when there’s a federal claim involved. Let’s say you sue an… (Read more)


“What’s the difference between a tax collector and a debt collector?”

“What’s the difference between a tax collector and a debt collector?” This is a question I was asked recently, and I thought I’d share it with you. A tax collector works for the IRS, and they handle any cases where money is owed to the IRS. This is the person who is calling you and letting you know that the IRS says that you owe money. They only work for the IRS. (States tend to have their own tax collectors… (Read more)


Alabama Consumer Protection Attorney John G. Watts answers your debt collection questions

Alabama Consumer Protection Attorney John G. Watts answers your debt collection questions We did this live webinar on June 6th, 2017, and have typed a form of a transcript below for you with some links.. Welcome to this webinar! Today we’re going to answer some questions that we’ve been asked, including several questions about the debt collector (debt buyer) Velocity Investments, LLC. Let’s get started. “What do I do if a collection lawyer is sending me debt notices at work… (Read more)


Should I use the FDCPA or FCRA when a debt collector has false credit reporting on me?

“Should I use the FDCPA or FCRA when a debt collector has false credit reporting on me?” This is a good question. You can actually use either of them, or in some cases you can use both. Under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) you can sue a debt collector without disputing with the credit reporting agencies. However, you may want to try disputing through the credit reporting agencies so that you can use the FCRA also. The FDCPA… (Read more)


If I settle with a debt collector, will I be sued again on the same debt?

“I have been sued by a debt collector in Alabama. I want to settle the debt, but I’m afraid I’ll be sued again on the same debt. Is this possible?” Some people may think this is silly, but this is a legitimate concern. How could this be, you may ask? Debt collectors have done this exact thing in the past with other consumers. Here’s an example. Let’s say that you owe $8,000. Then, to settle the debt with the collector,… (Read more)


Why does the debt collector have to pay my attorney fees under the FDCPA?

What does it mean that the debt collector I sued under the FDCPA may have to pay my attorney fees? This is a wonderful benefit of the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).  Let’s look at attorney fees in general to understand why. The normal rule. The normal rule is that everyone pays for their own attorney’s fees. Whether you are sued or you do the suing, you normally pay for your own attorney. This is true whether you win… (Read more)


Will my FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collector settle or will it go to trial?

Will my FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collector settle or will it go to trial? This is a great question. Most cases settle. It’s rare that these types of cases go to trial. You may wonder, “Well, why is that?” Well, here are a few reasons, at least in Alabama. 1. Most civil cases settle. When we say “civil,” we mean non-criminal cases. This is the type of case where someone is asking for money. It could be a car… (Read more)


Can debt collectors really violate the TCPA?

Can debt collectors really violate the TCPA? The TCPA, or Telephone Consumer Protection Act, keeps us protected (for the most part) from unwanted calls or texts. Often consumers wonder if the law applies to debt collectors who claim that a debt is owed. Absolutely. When they robo-dial your cell, or text your cell without your permission, they’re violating the TCPA. In other words, if they’re using a computer to blow up your phone, then they’re breaking the law unless you… (Read more)


“What should I do if the debt collector lies about removing false credit reporting?”

The main reason debt collectors are sued is the fact that they lie to consumers. Let’s say that a debt collector sends us a letter, and it says we owe $3,000, but they’ll cut us a deal and we will only have to pay a $1,500 to settle the deb. That may be a good deal. But we tell the debt collector, “Hey, this needs to come off of my credit report too.” They’ll either call us on the phone,… (Read more)


What is a 1692e(8) FDCPA violation against debt collectors for false credit reporting?

In Alabama, there’s a problem with debt collectors who knowingly put false information on to consumers’ credit reports which violates Section 1692e8 (sometimes written as 1692e(8)) of the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). There are also debt collectors who may claim to not know that they’re reporting falsely, but if they had common sense they would know that what they’re reporting isn’t accurate.  Section 1692e(8) also prohibits this type of bad conduct. A 1692e(8) violation under the FDCPA allows… (Read more)


“Why is it so important to get information from a debt collector when they call?”

There are a few good reasons why it’s so important to gather information about debt collectors who are calling you. We need to know who we’re dealing with when a debt collector calls you. We need to know the name of the company, and why they’re calling us. This is true whether we owe the debt or don’t owe the debt — we need information so we know who we are dealing with on the other end of the phone.… (Read more)


Case Study– Lawsuit against debt collector FirstSource Advantage

Summary of the case In this particular case it involves a debt collector who is violating the FDCPA, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and Alabama State Law. This includes invasion of privacy. FirstSource Advantage is a debt collector So the company that we sued in this case was FirstSource Advantage. They are a debt collection agency. Called consumer multiple times a day According to the allegations, they repeatedly called the consumer, day after day. Called family members and other third… (Read more)


Practical guide to using the FDCPA to stop a debt collector from abusing you

Practical guide to using the FDCPA to stop a debt collector from abusing you What is the FDCPA? It is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a law that regulates and governs debt collectors. it tells debt collectors what they can do, and what they cannot do. It also tells debt collectors that if they break the law, these can be the consequences. 3 requirements for the FDCPA to apply One-you must be a consumer This one is pretty… (Read more)


Consumer sues LVNV and collection lawfirm under FDCPA

Consumer sues LVNV and collection lawfirm under FDCPA Our client was sued by LVNV and won her case.  In Alabama this means she does not owe the debt to LVNV. Pretty simple, right? LVNV lost so it leaves her alone. Except LVNV would not do that — instead it hired some out of state collection lawfirm (Budzik & Dynia) to collect against our client.  And not only collect, but threaten to sue.  And threaten to credit report. But. Our client… (Read more)


What is a motion to enforce a settlement agreement?

“What is a motion to enforce a settlement agreement?” A motion to enforce a settlement agreement is where we are asking a court to enforce the terms of a settlement — to make the defendant do what the defendant promised when it settled. A case gets settled and sometimes we don’t have the settlement agreement already finalized.  Or we do and the company we have sued wants to add terms and conditions that we never agreed to. The most common… (Read more)


Does the debt buyer own the debt that they credit report?

“Does the debt buyer own the debt that they credit report?” If you’ve been sued by a debt buyer, or collector, such as Asset Acceptance, Cascade Capital, Midland Funding, LVNV, Velocity, or any other company like this, you may have several questions that come to mind. One question may be, “If the debt buyer is reporting this debt on my credit report, does that prove that they own it?” Absolutely not. It just proves that the debt buyer reported on… (Read more)


What is the Statute of Limitation on a car loan?

Today we’re going to talk about how long the Statute of Limitation applies if you’ve been sued after a car repossession has already happened. This is something that we’ve started to see more often. Companies like Autovest, Velocity, and Cascade sue a consumer after a repossession has taken place, claiming that the consumer still owes money. They say you owe a certain amount of money, then they repossess for a certain amount, and then say that you owe the difference… (Read more)


Can I use the FDCPA if a debt collector is falsely reporting on me?

“Can I use the FDCPA if a debt collector is falsely reporting on me?” You may be dealing with a debt collector who puts false information on your credit report, and one question that you may have is, “Can I use the FDCPA to stop this?” The answer is yes, you can use the FDCPA. You can definitely use this law (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) to help you. When a debt collector is falsely reporting on you, there are… (Read more)


“Who is Cascade Capital and why are they suing me?”

You may have gotten a letter in the mail from a company called Cascade Capital. They may be claiming that you owe them money from an old car loan, where there was supposedly a repossession. You may be wondering, “What should I do?” Here are some things you need to keep in mind when you’re dealing with this company. You most likely have never directly dealt with Cascade Capital before. They wouldn’t have been the ones who let you borrow… (Read more)


Who is Velocity Investments, and why are they suing me?

You may have gotten a letter in the mail stating that you’ve been sued by Velocity Investments. You may be thinking, “Who is this company, and why are they suing me?” Who is this company “Velocity Investments”? Velocity Investments is a company claims to buy up old car loans, generally after repossession. Why are they suing me? They’re trying to get you to pay on this old debt that they claim you owe and they claim to own. Usually, they… (Read more)


"How do I get a debt collector to stop harassing me at work?"

When a collector is harassing you at work, you may wonder, “How do I get them to stop?” There are two options when you’re dealing with harassment. Ask them to stop calling you at work. Let’s assume that they aren’t talking to your coworkers, yelling at you, or cussing you out. They’re actually being respectful to you. The fact of the matter is that most employers ask that you don’t handle personal business at work. With these collectors, you can… (Read more)


Who is Asset Acceptance and why are they suing me?

You may have gotten a letter in the mail from a company by the name of Asset Acceptance. You may be wondering, “Who is Asset Acceptance and why are they suing me?” This is a good question, because Asset Acceptance files quite a few cases a week in Alabama. Who is Asset Acceptance? They are a debt collection agency, or a debt buyer. They claim to buy old debt. Usually it’s old credit card debt, but sometimes it’s other types… (Read more)


Does the TCPA cover text messages when collectors blow up my phone?

When your phone is blowing up with unwanted phone calls and texts from collection agencies, you may wonder, “Does the TCPA cover text these collection text messages?” The short answer is yes, the TCPA covers text messages. The TCPA applies the same way that it applies to phone calls. We aren’t talking about manual calls or texts here, however. The TCPA doesn’t cover those calls. We’re talking about robo-dialers, prerecorded messages, and such. In the same way, we’re talking about… (Read more)


What is a cease and desist letter and how does it help me?

When you’re dealing with a debt collector, you have the option to send them a cease and desist letter. This letter states that you either refuse to pay the debt, or that you want them to cease communication. When you send that letter, they’re supposed to follow the rules. They may send you one letter that states something along the lines of, “We may take further action against you, but we will not call or write you anymore.” What’s the… (Read more)


Are debt collection lawsuits covered by the FDCPA?

You’ve been sued by a debt collection agency, like Asset Acceptance, LVNV, Midland Funding , etc. And you’ve heard about this law called the FDCPA, or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You may be wondering, “Does this law apply to the debt collection lawsuit that has been filed against me?” Normally, the answer is yes We have another article that talks about when the FDCPA applies. You have to be a consumer. It has to be personal, or consumer,… (Read more)


The Scorpion and the Frog– why do abusive companies break the law?

This is a little different from our usual posts, however, I believe this story will be beneficial to you as you deal with abusive companies. The Scorpion and the Frog This story has application to debt collectors, credit reporting agencies, car finance companies, mortgage companies, etc. Sometimes we sit and wonder, “Why do these companies do these dumb things where they’ll have to pay a lot of money after we sue them?” Read the story of the scorpion and the… (Read more)


Why does a debt collector lie about suing me?

“Why does a debt collector lie about suing me?” When you’re dealing with debt collector who keeps calling and threatening you, you may wonder, “Why is this collector lying about suing me?” or, “Why are they threatening to put me in jail?” There’s a couple of reasons why. 1.) It’s a complete scam Sometimes that’s the answer. Their false claims are designed to get you to pay them. 2.) They will lie to get you to make a payment Usually… (Read more)


What is a debt collector under the FDCPA?

“What is a debt collector under the FDCPA?” One part of of figuring out when the FDCPA applies is looking at the company that sued you to see if they qualify as a “debt collector”. Are they a debt collector? To figure this out, we need to find out whether or not your debt was in default when they got it. We need to figure out if they are truthfully saying the debt was in default, or even if the… (Read more)


Use the TCPA and FDCPA if debt collectors won’t stop calling

Often times when you’re being called constantly by a debt collector, you wonder, “How do I get this to stop?” You can use the TCPA and the FDCPA to stop collectors from calling you Both of these laws are powerful tools to help you. The FDCPA, or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, orders debt collectors to treat you fairly, be honest with you, and to take care of things in a legal fashion. You may be thinking, “That’s great with… (Read more)


FDCPA — Does it apply to the debt collector I’m dealing with now?

“FDCPA — Does it apply to the debt collector I’m dealing with now?” The FDCPA, or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, is a powerful tool in a collection lawsuit. Discovering when it applies is a smart move. Let’s talk about the three requirements that need to be met in order for the FDCPA to apply. First off, the FDCPA only applies to consumers. This doesn’t apply to businesses, corporations or partnerships. It only applies to an individual. It applies to… (Read more)


How does the FDCPA help me deal with debt collectors?

“How does the FDCPA help me deal with debt collectors?” The FDCPA is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act — a federal law that governs and regulates debt collectors. So, how does it help me if I’m dealing with debt collectors? It protects you from abuse by debt collectors. This is very important. It does not say it’s illegal to collect debt, and there are some people who will put that out on the internet. They’ll say, “Oh, it’s illegal… (Read more)


“If I owe the debt, I can’t sue an abusive debt collector, right?”

“If I owe the debt, I can’t sue an abusive debt collector, right?” The idea behind this question is the thought that “since I owe the debt, the debt collector can do whatever they want, right?” That just simply isn’t the answer. Here’s why. Owing a debt and abusive debt collection are different There’s a difference between owing a debt, and abusive debt collection. Now, the debt collectors who are willing to break the law want to put these two… (Read more)


What do I do if a lawyer ignores my response to their collection letters?

“I got a collection letter from a lawyer. I disputed it and got no response and then I got sued.” Short answer is this normally violates the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) as the lawyer should have responded to your dispute letter before suing. Want the slightly longer answer.  🙂 Here’s a recent example that shows the FDCPA being violated by CACH Let me give you a typical example. You have a debt buyer that’s called CACH. They basically… (Read more)


What happens next after you win your collection suit at trial?

First off, congratulations! Most people do nothing when they’re sued. You took action, and answered the collection suit. You showed up at court, and you won your case. Now is the time to finish the good work you have started. Some people may say, “Well, I’ve won my case, so it’s over.” No, you’re about halfway done, so you need to finish the deal. Look into suing the debt collector. I suggest you look into suing the debt collector who… (Read more)


How does the FDCPA apply to my mortgage company?

Hello. My name is John Watts. I am an Alabama Consumer Protection Attorney and this is part of our continuing series on answering questions. The question we will answer today is how does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the FDCPA, apply to my mortgage company? Here is what the FDCPA regulates or governs. It says if you have a debt collector and you are dealing with a personal debt and not a business debt, then the FDCPA will… (Read more)


Does the FDCPA apply to my mortgage company?

Yes often the FDCPA applies to your mortgage company. Here’s a recent question:  “I read that the FDCPA, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, does not apply to a mortgage company. Is that true?” It depends. Your mortgage company must be a debt collector for the FDCPA to apply and give you protection. Let’s walk through an example to illustrate this point — if the mortgage company gets the loan and it is not in default, then not a debt… (Read more)


What do I do if Nationstar is showing up on my credit report but I don’t have a mortgage in my name. It’s in my spouse’s name only.

“What do I do if Nationstar is showing up on my credit report but I don’t have a mortgage in my name. It’s in my spouse’s name only.” This is something that we see quite often. It’s when a mortgage company, for example, NationStar, gets a loan and they will start collecting against you even if you are not on the loan. I’ll use myself as an example. If my wife is the only one on the note, the note… (Read more)


What do I do if I have paid a medical bill, but it gets turned over to a debt collector and ends up on my credit report?

“What do I do if I have paid a medical bill, but it gets turned over to a debt collector and ends up on my credit report?” First of all, if you paid the bill and then it goes to a collector, that shouldn’t happen because there’s nothing to send to the collector. We don’t send zero dollar bills to a debt collector. So if it has gone to a collector, then something has gone wrong and it may very… (Read more)


If a debt collector credit reports inaccurate information, can the collector be held accountable?

“If a debt collector credit reports inaccurate information, can the collector be held accountable?” The short answer is yes. There are two laws involved in false credit reporting by a debt collector: the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If a debt collector knows or should know that he is reporting false information, he violates the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). The FDCPA only applies if the collector is subject to this law. Three… (Read more)


When does the FDCPA apply?

The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) is a powerful federal consumer protection law but it does not always apply to your situation. If you are dealing with a debt collector, the first step is to figure out if the FDCPA even applies to you. If it does not, then you’ll need to look to Alabama state law or some other federal law for protection from abusive debt collectors. But if the FDCPA does apply, it gives you great protection… (Read more)


How do I stop Asset Acceptance from computer calling me on my cell phone after I beat them at trial?

“How do I stop Asset Acceptance from computer calling me on my cell phone after I beat them at trial?” We had a question from a website visitor about Asset Acceptance, a debt buyer (debt collector), who sued the consumer and lost. But it is still calling the consumer’s cell phone, spouse’s cell phone, and even the consumer’s child’s cell phone. To show it has no concern for the rights of the consumer, Asset Acceptance is credit reporting the account… (Read more)


What if I win my Small Claims or District Court collection case?

“What if I win my Small Claims or District Court collection case?” So you won the collection case filed against you by Cavalry, LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, etc — now what does this mean? First, congratulations on winning!   Most people never answer the lawsuit, so they lose. And even when they answer the collection suit, most don’t show up to their own trial!  So they lose. And the ones that do show up, often settle as they don’t understand that the… (Read more)


“What do I do if I’m sued by a debt collector in the wrong county?”

“If I’m sued by a debt collector in the wrong county, what should I do?” Being sued by a debt collector is bad. What could possibly be worse? A debt collector suing you in the wrong county. That’s why it is against the law. What can you do in the state court collection case? You can ask the judge to transfer your case to the right county, if you were sued in the wrong one. In Small Claims, you’ll receive… (Read more)


How do I send my dispute letter to the debt collector?

If you are dealing with a debt collector, you have the right to send a dispute letter.  We have a simple dispute letter for you to look at and use if you wish.  But how do you actually send it? Four steps to sending a dispute letter to a debt collector First, keep a signed copy of your letter. Second, send it certified mail return receipt requested so you will get a green card back. Third, when you get the… (Read more)


Example of an abusive third party contact (neighbors) by a debt collector

Example of an abusive third party contact (neighbors) by a debt collector Debt collectors routinely violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). There are number of reasons that debt collectors violate the law, but the most common reason is simply that it works in getting people to pay debts, whether the debts are owed or not owed. Let’s talk about a very common example of a debt collector violating the FDCPA — illegally contacting third parties. The FDCPA says… (Read more)


“Can I hold a debt collector responsible for putting false information on my credit reports especially when it lowers my credit score?”

“Can I hold a debt collector responsible for putting false information on my credit report especially when it lowers my credit score?” Having false information on your credit report is very frustrating. Especially when it is from a debt collector who has damaged your credit reports and scores. You have some options on how to fix this problem and hold the debt collector responsible. Use the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to fix your credit report Any company, including a… (Read more)


What Is A “Technical Violation” Of The FDCPA?

What Is A “Technical Violation” Of The FDCPA? Often when we sue an abusive debt collector the lawyer defending the collection agency will argue to us, or to a judge, that “The violations were only technical ones.” What does this mean when we are talking about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)? A technical violation is a violation that happens to someone other than the defense lawyer. Stated another way, a technical violation is one that happens to someone… (Read more)


Alabama FDCPA — Bona Fide Error — “We Abused You But That’s OK”

Alabama FDCPA — Bona Fide Error — “We Abused You But That’s OK” When debt collectors get caught breaking the law and violating the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), they often plead a defense called “Bona Fide Error.” In every day language this means “We abused you, we got caught, but hey we have a policy against this so we should get off the hook, right?” An affirmative defense is where the collector says “OK, we did it, but… (Read more)


Can A Collection Agency Sue Me In The State Of Alabama?

Can A Collection Agency Sue Me In Alabama? We often talk about debt collectors suing Alabama consumers but to be precisely correct, a collection agency that does not own the debt cannot sue you in Alabama.  A collection agency must own the debt to sue you in Alabama. “Debt collector” means a collection agency which collects a debt for someone else; it means a debt buyer who claims to have bought the debt; and a collection law firm which is… (Read more)


Re-Aging: One of Debt Collectors Dirty Tricks on Your Credit Report

Re-Aging:  One of Debt Collectors Dirty Tricks on Your Credit Report We previously described 5 of the more common dirty tricks that debt collectors commit against your credit reports. “Re-Aging” is where the collector lies so that the account (or “tradeline”) will stay on your report longer than it should. Negative accounts generally stay on for about 7 years after you default. But sometimes debt collectors will say the account just went into default to get the 7 years to… (Read more)


LVNV Sued You In Collection Case?

LVNV Sued You In Collection Case? LVNV Funding, LLC is a major debt buyer who files a tremendous number of suits in Alabama, primarily in Alabama District Court and Alabama Small Claims Court. Normally LVNV is not the original debt buyer but instead is third or fourth in line from the original creditor. LVNV must prove it OWNS the debt. We have never seen this debt buyer prove that it owns a debt it has sued on in Alabama.  (Maybe… (Read more)


What Are The Different Types Of Debt Collectors Under FDCPA?

What Are The Different Types Of Debt Collectors Under FDCPA? When you’re dealing with debt collectors, the question does cross our minds about who qualifies as a debt collector under the FDCPA. Let’s talk about this. What is a debt collector? The term “Debt Collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) means a company that received a debt after the debt was in default. Let’s talk a little bit about this and give some examples. A company receives… (Read more)


Can A Collector Leave A Voicemail On My Cell Phone?

Can A Collector Leave Collection Call Voicemails On My Cell Phone? Debt collectors primarily use the phone to collect debts. Many of us only have cell phones so debt collectors call our cell phones. Is it legal for debt collectors to leave a voicemail on our cell phones? Sometimes it is but often it is illegal. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits various types of illegal collection activities.   Listen carefully in the voicemail for any threats and also… (Read more)


Why You Need To Tell Your FDCPA Lawyer If You Plan On Filing Bankruptcy

Why You Need To Tell Your FDCPA Lawyer If You Plan On Filing Bankruptcy. If you are planning on filing bankruptcy, then you need to let your lawyer know who is representing you against a debt collector in your FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) lawsuit. You also need to let your bankruptcy lawyer know you have a lawsuit or a potential lawsuit against a debt collector. In the world of bankruptcy, a lawsuit is an “asset” that may no… (Read more)


Biggest Financial Mistake — Filing Bankruptcy Because Of Collectors?

Biggest Financial Mistake — Filing Bankruptcy Because Of Collectors? Are you considering bankruptcy because you are sick of dealing with abusive debt collectors?  Take five minutes and read this article to understand why this may be one of the biggest financial mistakes you could make. Bankruptcy is a legitimate option if you have no other choice.  Sometimes our debts and income and assets just don’t add up the right way.  This is what bankruptcy is for — to get a… (Read more)


If One Collector Sells A Debt To Another, Will It Stay On My Credit Report Longer?

If One Collector Sells A Debt To Another, Will It Stay On My Credit Report Longer? Time period to stay on your report is 7 years from default regardless of who owns the debt. No.  The time period for an account to stay on your credit report is 7 years after you default.  This is dictated by the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). Selling the debt does nothing to change this law. Sometimes debt collectors (debt buyers) will claim to… (Read more)


5 Dirty Tricks Debt Collectors Use On Your Credit Reports

5 Dirty Tricks Alabama Debt Collectors Use On Your Credit Reports. Debt collectors love to mis-use the incredible power of credit reporting in order to force you to pay them and the abusive ones don’t mind breaking the law to do so. There are five common dirty tricks related to credit reports that collectors enjoy using. We’ll list these out and then in separate articles we will take them one at a time. Re-aging the debt; Sue you and lose… (Read more)


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… (Read more)


Can A Collector Garnish My Wages Or My Bank Account?

Can A Collector Put A Garnishment On My Wages Or My Bank Account? Garnishment is one of the more dangerous threats that a debt collector can make against you.  To take the money in your bank account.  To have your employer say “I’m having to withhold 25% of your paycheck to pay a garnishment.” Most of us are not in a position where we can handle our bank account being drained or to lose 25% of our paycheck. Debt collectors… (Read more)


Will A Cease And Desist Letter Stop Abusive Collectors?

Will A Cease And Desist Letter Stop Abusive Collectors? Debt collectors. Cease and desist letters. These two things go together quite well if you believe a lot of the self-proclaimed experts on the internet. Or if you listen to defense lawyers who defend abusive debt collectors. An odd combination of people who love cease and desist letters, eh? Let’s talk about this. The Internet Tells You A Cease And Desist Letter Stops Abusive Debt Collection There are many websites and… (Read more)


Debt Collection Lawsuit: Lies About You Making A Payment

Why do debt buyers lie about you making a recent payment in a debt collection suit? In a debt collection suit, it is surprising to find out the debt buyer claims you made a payment 4 years ago.  When you know you haven’t made a payment in 10 years. You find this out in several ways. Sometimes in the actual lawsuit but this is rare because the normal suit has few details. The collection lawyer sends you alleged “proof” that… (Read more)


Why Do Consumer Protection Statutes Have “Fee Shifting” To Help Consumers under the FDCPA?

Why Do Consumer Protection Statutes Have “Fee Shifting” To Help Consumers under the FDCPA? The short answer is that it allows you, as a consumer, to hire a competent lawyer even if you can’t afford to spend $10,000 or $100,000 on a skilled lawyer. The additional reason is that it is a wonderful motivator for abusive debt collectors (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)n and credit reporting agencies (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and the companies that furnish false credit reporting information… (Read more)


Debt Collection — The Four Problems Caused By Abusive Debt Collectors

Sometimes lawyers that defend abusive debt collectors shrug their shoulders and say “So what?  So what that my client abused you.  What’s the big deal?” Well, Mr. Defense Attorney, there are four major problems that have been clearly recognized by everyone in the debt collection industry.  Four problems caused by abusive debt collectors.  Four problems mentioned directly in the opening of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Congress found it necessary to pass the FDCPA due to rampant abusive practices… (Read more)


What To Do When A Collector “Mistakenly” Contacts You For Someone Else’s Debt

What To Do When A Collector “Mistakenly” Contacts You For Someone Else’s Debt. When a collector calls you or writes to you for a debt you don’t owe — but someone else does owe it — what do you do? There are a few simple steps to take to fix this problem. But let’s talk about what not to do, as tempting as it might be. Do not ignore the calls or letters.   If you ignore the letters or calls,… (Read more)


Time Limit For Debt Collector To Credit Report

“What Is The Time Limit For Collectors To Credit Report In Alabama?” Debt collectors love to threaten to (and actually do) credit report collection accounts on your credit reports. This has a terrible negative impact on your credit reports. So, how long can a collection account be reported on your credit reports? We have previously discussed the general time limits for collecting.  And how long a debt collector (debt buyer) has to sue you in Alabama. But today we will… (Read more)


Three Time Periods For Collectors To Collect Debts

Three Time Periods For Collectors To Collect Debts. Alabama consumers often ask “How long can the collection agency collect against me and what is the Statute of Limitations on credit reporting and suing?” This question actually touches on three separate time limits. First, a collector generally has three to six years to sue you. This is the statute of limitations. Also, to be precise, a collection agency must actually own the debt to sue you. Second, a collector can report… (Read more)


What Does “Fee Shifting” Mean In An FDCPA Case?

What Does “Fee Shifting” Mean In An FDCPA Case? One of the advantages of suing debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is that the debt collector can be required to pay your attorney fees. This has a tremendous motivating impact on the debt collector to settle the case with you when it knows it has been caught violating the law. In a typical lawsuit — car wreck, slip and fall, products liability, etc — each party… (Read more)


How Much Is Initial Consultation With An FDCPA Lawyer?

How Much Is Initial Consultation With An FDCPA Lawyer? There is no charge to meet with us in person or by phone to discuss a potential lawsuit against a debt collector that violated the law (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA) against you.  As you may know, we sue lawbreaking debt collectors and then we discuss settlement with them. If we meet and you decide to go forward with the case and we agree to accept the case, then… (Read more)


When I Sue A Collector, Will I Give A Deposition?

You should expect to give a deposition if you sue an abusive debt collector When you sue an abusive collector, if the case does not settle quickly, then the collection agency’s lawyer will take your deposition. A deposition is a type of “discovery” Discovery is simply the process where each side can ask the other side questions. A deposition is where you give testimony under oath. The lawyer for the debt collector asks you questions. You answer truthfully. Why will… (Read more)


I’m Nervous About Giving A Deposition — Is This Normal?

“I’m Nervous About Giving A Deposition — Is This Normal?” Yes, it is normal to be concerned when your deposition has been scheduled. Let’s first talk about what a deposition is and then we’ll talk about what to do in one. If you are even thinking about one, it means you are in a lawsuit.  Or you are about to be in a lawsuit. What is a deposition? A deposition is when you will be questioned by the lawyers on… (Read more)


Fixing Credit Report Errors: Who Do You Send A Dispute Letter To?

Fixing Credit Report Errors:  Who Do You Send A Dispute Letter To? You have an error on your credit report. You need it fixed. Who do you send your dispute letter to in order to repair your credit report errors? It makes sense to dispute directly with the company providing the false information to the credit reporting agencies, right? It does but this will get you no-where.  Legally the furnisher of the information (unless a debt collector) has no obligation… (Read more)


Turn The Collection Lawsuit Into A Suit Against The Debt Collector

Turn The Collection Lawsuit Into A Suit Against The Debt Collector. You’ve been sued by a debt collector (debt buyer) like Asset Acceptance, LVNV, Midland or Portfolio Recovery. You know that you don’t owe any money to the debt buyer and you know the debt buyer normally either can’t or won’t prove it owns the debt. Do you just have to accept that you have sued by some bogus debt collector? Or is there anything that you can do about… (Read more)


Afraid To Answer Your Phone Because Of Collectors?

We understand that when you see on your phone the number of a debt collector, it causes your stomach to tighten up and your heart to race.  You may feel fear.  You may feel anger mixed with fear or dread.  But no one experiences pleasant feelings. Follow the steps below and the fear and dread will melt away and you will have peace of mind…. Most People Ignore The Collectors Calling — This Is A Mistake The phone rings.  You… (Read more)


Why Collectors Hate To Mark Your Account As “Disputed” On Credit Reports

Why Collectors Hate To Mark Your Account As “Disputed” On Credit Reports We previously wrote about how collectors must mark your account as “disputed” on your credit reports when you dispute it.  But why don’t the debt collectors want to do this? There Is Only One Reason Debt Collectors Credit Report. Collectors will act pious and say they owe some obligation to creditors around the world to report you as being in collection.  That’s complete garbage. The only reason collectors… (Read more)


Why We Sue Debt Collectors, And THEN Negotiate….

Why We Sue Debt Collectors, And THEN Negotiate… Sue First, Then Talk? It sometimes sounds odd to people that we won’t negotiate with debt collectors who have broken the law until after we sue them. Sometimes people (including judges) say “Did you talk to them first?  Did you send the collection agency a demand letter before suing?” No. Here’s why: Collection agencies sue lawyers who negotiate first. Defense attorneys accuse us of being “mafia attorneys” and have threatened to sue… (Read more)


If You Dispute A Debt, The Collector Must Mark It As “Disputed” On Your Credit Report

If You Dispute A Debt, The Collector Must Mark It As “Disputed” On Your Credit Report. Disputing A Collection Debt Can Help Your Credit Report If you dispute a debt to a debt collector, this can be beneficial in several ways. First, it lets the collector know that you are not agreeing to the debt. Note:  not disputing does not mean you agree to the debt but sometimes collectors who don’t understand the law think this… Second, if the debt… (Read more)


Simple Dispute Letter To Send To Debt Collectors

Simple Dispute Letter To Send To Debt Collectors We have talked about what to say to debt collectors when on the phone, but what about a “simple” sample letter to debt collectors? There are some very long, and I think very ineffective, letters that are floating around the internet. But used properly, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) do give us some useful tools to help collectors understand that should not abuse… (Read more)


What Questions Should I Ask Debt Collectors On The Phone?

What Questions Should I Ask Debt Collectors On The Phone? When a debt collector calls you — or you call the debt collector — what should you say to the collector? It helps if you know some about your rights when dealing with collectors. But you also want to ask smart legitimate questions to find out what you need to do with this collector.  If you owe it and the collector has the right to collect, then you need to… (Read more)


Harassed By Foreign Or U.S. Debt Collector Over Pay Day Loan?

Harassed By Foreign Or U.S. Debt Collector Over Pay Day Loan? This is a huge problem and its getting bigger, Unfortunately, foreign (and domestic) scam debt collectors will call you over pay day loans. Or similar types of debts. They don’t care if you owe this pay day loan or not. Surprisingly, they will make outrageous threats that make normal, abusive collectors, blush… Here’s the pattern: You get a call on your cell phone or at your work or even… (Read more)


Have You Won Your Debt Collection Lawsuit Against LVNV? Now Finish It….

Have You Won Your Debt Collection Lawsuit Against LVNV?  Now Finish It…. If you have won your Alabama collection lawsuit that the giant debt buyer LVNV Funding, LLC filed against you, then congratulations but understand that your victory is not complete yet. LVNV may still be illegally collecting against you even though the case was dismissed with prejudice or you received a judgment in your favor. Keep reading to find out more about your rights to make sure LVNV is… (Read more)


Student Loan Collection — Differences in Private and Federal Student Loans

Student Loan Collection — Differences in Private and Federal Student Loans Student loans now exceed 1 trillion dollars. To put this incomprehensible number in perspective — that is more debt than all of the nation’s credit card debt. When there is a default on student loans, collection activities begin. Do student loan collectors have unlimited powers? Can they really take your tax refunds? Garnish your wages whenever they want? Is there really no statute of limitations on any type of… (Read more)


Two Reasons Why We Recommend You Not Record Phone Calls in Alabama

Two Reasons Why We Recommend You Not Record Phone Calls in Alabama We are often asked if abusive debt collectors should be recorded. The short answer is “No.” The longer answer is, “Not usually.” There is a lot of information on the internet about recording calls. We wrote this free report to help give you our perspective so you can have more information to make the right choice on whether or not to record calls when dealing with an abusive… (Read more)


“Should I pay a debt I don’t owe to get it off of my credit report?”

“Should I pay a debt I don’t owe to get it off of my credit report?” No, you shouldn’t pay it just so it will be removed from your credit report. That’s blackmail. If you don’t owe the debt then you should not pay it off. There is a cheaper, and better, solution. Dispute it under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to the credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and Trans Union – and tell them you do… (Read more)


How To Use The Collection Communications Log When Dealing With Debt Collectors

How To Use The Collection Communications Log When Dealing With Debt Collectors Introduction to Debt Collector Communications Log We have often recommended that consumers who are dealing with debt collectors calling should use the “Collection Log” by our friend Pete Barry. This short article is to explain why and how to use the collection log most effectively. One reason to use this (or something similar) is to keep all of the information about collection calls in one place. If you… (Read more)


Why Debt Collectors Who Leave Voicemails Are Inviting A Lawsuit

Why Debt Collectors Who Leave Voicemails Are Inviting A Lawsuit Introduction To Illegal Voicemails By Collectors Debt collectors know what the law requires. Collection agencies, debt buyers, and collection lawfirms spend lots of time and money going to seminars and workshops on how to avoid lawsuits. The best way, of course, is to not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) law. But despite all of their knowledge, when it comes to voicemails it seems that the collectors just… (Read more)


Why Debt Buyers Must Delete Credit Reporting When They Lose Their Collection Case Against You

Why Debt Buyers Must Delete Credit Reporting When They Lose Their Collection Case Against You When you are sued by a debt buyer or debt collector, this is a very scary event. Fears of losing . . . fears of being garnished . . . fears of being forced into bankruptcy enter the mind. But when the battle is finally over and the Judge announces “Verdict in favor of the defendant (consumer)” you have great joy. The case is over.… (Read more)


Social Security And The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Social Security And The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act You Are Likely Dealing With Debt Collectors While Seeking Your Social Security Disability Benefits Often Alabama consumers who are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits have to deal with abusive debt collectors. Think of it this way — if you lose your job, and can’t work because of a disability, then you will apply for social security benefits. But normally you are not awarded the social security benefits right away.… (Read more)


Explain A Lawsuit Against A Debt Collector That Typically Settles Quickly

Explain A Lawsuit Against A Debt Collector That Typically Settles Quickly   We are often asked this question or some variation on it such as “will my case against an abusive debt collector settle quickly or will I have to go to trial?” Great question. The truth is that nobody can tell whether your Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) case against a debt collector will settle quickly or not.  Remember it takes two to settle. Here are a couple… (Read more)


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… (Read more)


Three Ways To Stop Debt Collectors From Calling You

Three Ways To Stop Debt Collectors From Calling You Probably the question we are asked the most by Alabama consumers who are getting calls from collection agencies is “How do I stop the calls?” The reason is that debt collectors call so much that they take away your phone as a practical matter. You come to dread the ringing of the phone. You dread the flashing light of the voicemail indicator. Many consumers have changed their phone number just to… (Read more)


Why Does A Debt Collector Call Third Parties?

Why Does A Debt Collector Call Third Parties? It works. This is the short and simple answer. Think about it this way . . . If a debt collector writes you a letter, what can you do? Ignore it.  Throw it away. If a debt collector calls you, what can you do? You can see it come up on caller ID and ignore it. If a debt collector calls and leaves you a voicemail message, what can you do? Ignore… (Read more)


Debt Collectors Can Only Call Friends, Neighbors, and Co-workers For “Location Information”

Debt Collectors Can Only Call Friends, Neighbors, and Co-workers For “Location Information” This is probably the most common type of violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – calling third parties for information other than location information. What is a third party? A third party is anyone other than you or your spouse. What is “location information”? Location information is defined very specifically in the FDCPA.  It is the following three items – and only these three items:… (Read more)


Illegal Calls To Cell Phones Under The TCPA and FDCPA

Illegal Calls To Cell Phones Under The TCPA and FDCPA Can I Sue A Collector For Calling My Cell Phone? For so many of us our cell phones are critically important. We sometimes say as long as we have our keys, wallets, and cell phones – then anything we forget can be replaced. So we always have our cell phones with us. Collectors know this – that’s why they call our cell phones. Is it legal for collectors to call… (Read more)


Debt Collectors Who Sue You After The Statute Of Limitations Expires Violate The FDCPA

Have You Been Sued By A Debt Collector (Debt Buyer) And Wonder What The Statute Of Limitations Can Do For You? Learn about your five options when sued by a debt buyer as you need to discover what you should do next. [Important note — one of those options is NOT to use Ferry & Nicholas who will write you the day after you are sued.  I think anyone who uses them is asking for a disaster to happen —… (Read more)


Debt Collectors Who Threaten To Sue On A Time Barred Debt Violate The FDCPA

Debt Collectors Who Threaten To Sue On A Time Barred Debt Violate The FDCPA Find Out Why Debt Collectors Who Threaten To Sue You On A Time-Barred Debt Violate The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act This is a common problem – debt collectors in general (and debt buyers in particular) – will get debts that are clearly outside the statute of limitations in Alabama (either 3 or 4 or 6 years) and they will threaten to sue you. This is… (Read more)


Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Debt Collectors

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Debt Collectors Debt collectors are infamous for violating the law and harassing consumers in Alabama over debts.  Whether you owe the debt or not, NO debt collector has the right to harass you. When you are harassed, you need to look at suing under state and federal law.  Make the abusive debt collector pay you money damages. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires that debt… (Read more)


Can a Collection Agency Call My Neighbors (“block party”)?

Can a Collection Agency Call My Neighbors? In the bag of cheap tricks, this is one of the worst ones that debt collectors or debt buyers or collection agencies use.  It violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In the collection business this is known as a “block party”. What Is A Block Party? The expression “block party” normally brings to mind images of friendly neighbors gathered together cooking out and enjoying each other’s company. Within the debt collection… (Read more)


Can a Collection Agency Call My Work or Coworkers?

“Can a Collection Agency Call My Work or Coworkers?” Has a debt collector thrown an “office party” against you by calling your work? This is where the collection agency illegally calls your co-workers for the sole purpose of humiliating you in order to make you pay the debt.  Even though this violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This tactic is similar to the “block party” tactic also discussed on this website and is called an “office party.” An… (Read more)


FAQ About Debt Collector Harassment Which Violates The FDCPA

Is A Debt Collector Harassing You Illegally?  Find Out What Your Rights Are So You Can Take Action Against Abusive Debt Collectors! We realize that dealing with debt collectors can be intimidating.  Not just because abusive collectors are intimidating but also because you may not fully understand your rights and what collectors can, and cannot, do in collecting a debt from you. We have laid out some typical questions that we are asked by Alabama consumers who want to know… (Read more)


FAQ About Being Sued By A Debt Collector In Alabama

What to Expect When You Are Being Sued — Questions and Answers Regarding Collection Lawsuits By Debt Collectors (UPDATED DECEMBER 3, 2019) — So you have been sued by a debt collector (debt buyer).  This could be CACH, Cascade, LVNV Funding, Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery, Unifund, Velocity, etc. and you have been served with the summons.  What do you do? Or perhaps you are receiving letters from lawyers or non lawyers telling you that you are being sued — what… (Read more)


If I Win The Debt Collection Lawsuit Against Me, What Happens Next?

If I Win The Debt Collection Lawsuit Against Me, What Happens Next? After Success in a Debt Collection Lawsuit: The Facts Fact: A debt collection lawsuit is essentially a claim that you the consumer owe money to the debt buyer or debt collector who sued you. Fact: If the debt collection lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice or if the judge ruled in your, the final decision is that you do not owe the debt to the debt buyer. All collection… (Read more)


I Got Sued and Won – But It’s Still On My Credit Report

I got sued and won- but it’s still on my credit report – what do I do [Updated May 2021]? Congratulations for winning the debt collection (debt buyer) lawsuit against you — now let’s make sure they are not on your credit report.  And if they are, what you can do! Because even after a debt collector has been beaten in court, they often will continue to report to the consumer reporting agencies that you still owe the debt.  (These… (Read more)


I’ve Been Sued By A Debt Buyer – What Should I Do?

I’ve Been Sued By A Debt Buyer – What Should I Do (Updated December 2019)? [Updated May 2021] Being sued in Alabama by a debt buyer (Asset Acceptance, LVNV Funding, Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Unifund, etc) is a frightening thing – particularly when it is by some debt collector that you have never heard of before the suit. So what do you do now?  Because you know if you do nothing, bad things will happen including getting a default judgment… (Read more)


Debt Collection Before, During, and After Your Bankruptcy

Debt Collection Before, During, and After Your Bankruptcy [Updated May 2021] You’re probably thinking about filing for protection via bankruptcy (chapter 7 or 13). You may wonder, “What does this mean for debt collectors who are coming after me?”  Collectors who are calling me or writing me collection letters?  And who are credit reporting against you. Before Filing for Bankruptcy Debt collectors can continue to collect against you but they must follow the law, especially the Fair Debt Collection Practices… (Read more)