Fair Debt Collection in Nevada
The dilemma of having debts may already seem unbearable. What makes it worse is the fact that you seem to be more troubled not by the debt itself but by the unending calls or messages from debt collectors. This time, you are not only forced to face the reality of finding ways to manage your debt but also how to deal with debt collectors.
Your sleepless nights and anxieties maybe put to an end. You just have to know your rights even if you are in debt and the scope of limitations debt collectors are bound to.
What is a Debt Collector?
You have to understand that a debt collector is someone who regularly collects debts owed to others, which means he is not the creditor himself. Debt collectors maybe:
● Companies that purchase delinquent debts and collect them;
● Lawyers who collect debts; or
● Debt collection agencies.
Yes, they are third-party entities that are often outsourced by the creditors to do the debt collection for them.
What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The truth remains that you have debts, but the fact also is that not all debt collection practices are allowed by law. You are protected from these unethical and unfair debt collection methods by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
To put it simply, the Nevada and federal law in its legislation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) establishes guidelines that prevent exploitive and abusive debt collection practices and limitations of debt collectors.
Aside from outlining the limitations of debt collectors, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also outlines the type of debts that it covers such as:
● Household and family debts; and
● Personal debts to include credit card debt, auto loan, medical bills, rent and mortgage.
The debts that FDCPA does not cover are:
● Tax debts;
● Child support payments;
● Tort judgments or shoplifting claims;
● License fees; and/or
● Debts incurred to operate a business.
Collection of Debts by Debt Collectors Under the FDCPA
As debt collectors are allowed to gather information on the location of the debtors, however, the following rules have to be strictly observed:
● The debt collector must identify himself or herself, state that he or she is confirming or correcting the debtor’s location information, and identify if asked so, the name of his or her employer when contacting someone other than the debtor to gather information about the debtor’s location;
● The debt collector may not contact someone more than once unless asked to call back or make a follow up with the person believed to have information about the debtor’s location;
● The debt collector is not allowed to state to anyone that the debtor owes a debt;
● The debt collector cannot communicate by any means in any form that the information needed is for the collection of debt, or identify that the communication is from a debt collector; and
● If you signify that you are represented by an attorney, the debt collector should communicate with your attorney only.
How to Stop a Debt Collector from Contacting You
A debt collector should stop contacting you if:
● You informed the debt collector in writing that you refuse to pay the debt; and
● You wish the debt collector to stop communicating with you.
The debt collector, however, may contact you under the following circumstances:
● To advise you that further efforts of the debt collector are terminated;
● To inform you that usual remedies may be considered by you; and
● To inform you that the debt collector or creditor has come up with an applicable usual remedy for you.
What are the Limitations of a Debt Collector under the FDCPA?
There are certain limitations that a debt collector can do such as:
● Use unfair business practice to collect a debt;
● Harass or abuse you in any way; and/or
● Lie to you or mislead you.
In collecting a debt, a debt collector may not engage in any action that harasses, oppresses, or abuses you, including:
● Use or threaten to use violence or other unlawful practices against your physical person, reputation, or property;
● Use threatening, demeaning, insulting, or illegal language or actions;
● Publicize a list of people who are reportedly refusing to pay their obligations except to a credit reporting agency;
● Advertise the sale of any debt in order to compel payment;
● Make phone calls without revealing his or her identity to you;
● Calling you at work to collect on the debt despite prior warnings that you could not talk at work, or calling you a considerable number of times after telling the debt collector that the debt had been paid and requested him or her to stop calling;
● Threats of making contact with third parties;
● Abuse you by using indecent or profane language; and
● Constantly or continuously ringing your phone and engaging you in a conversation with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass you.
How Would You Qualify a Call as Harassment?
A debt collector’s call may be qualified as harassment depending on the circumstance, as follows:
● The debt collector may call you more than once unless you say that no more calls be made and hang up; or
● The debt collector calls a couple of times in an hour
It is important that you document the calls made by a debt collector. Create and keep a call log to serve as evidence of abuse or harassment by your debt collector. Your call log must include the following data for it to be solid and valid:
● Date of call;
● Time of call;
● Debt collector’s name, agency and call-back number;
● Type of call received (voicemail, live, dial and hang up); and
● Content of the call communication.
As much as possible, you have to keep all voicemails and written communication received from a debt collector as additional proof of possible harassment.
What are the Circumstances Which Fall Under Misleading or False Representations?
In the collection of any debt, a debt collector should not use false, deceptive, or misleading means or representation such as:
● Threatening to take any legal action against you if the debt collector doesn’t intend to take the action;
● Falsely claim that the selling, referring, or transferring a debt will result in losing your claim or defense to the payment of the debt, or you will be held liable to FDCPA prohibited actions;
● Falsely claim that you committed any crime in order to disgrace you;
● Falsely claim to be an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney;
● Lie about seizing, garnishing, attaching, or selling your property or wages unless the debt collector is legally permitted and intends to do so.;
● Give or threaten to reveal inaccurate credit information to anybody;
● Collect or attempt to collect any debt or gather information about you using fraudulent or deceptive techniques;
● Fail to disclose with you that he or she is attempting to collect a debt, and information gathered will be solely used for the said purpose in the initial communication;
● Misrepresent himself or herself as a member of the law enforcement or as a government representative;
● Send you written communication that purports to be an official document from a court or government entity but is not;
● Misrepresent the amount of debt owed, the legal status of the debt, or the compensation the debt collector may lawfully receive for the collection of a debt;
● Fail to disclose that communication is from a debt collector in subsequent communications, except legal pleadings;
● Falsely represent that papers sent to you are not legal forms if they are, or falsely represent that papers sent to you are legal forms if they are not;
● Falsely represent that he or she is employed by a debt collection agency;
● Falsely adding authorized charges to the collector’s claim as if charges are owed by you;
● Making unclear statements about the amount to pay off;
● Threatening to sue the same debt multiple times;
● Use a false name or company name;
● Misrepresentation of your legal rights under the FDCPA;
● Making false statements about tThe dilemma of having debts may already seem unbearable. What makes it worse is the fact that you seem to be more troubled not by the debt itself but by the unending calls or messages from debt collectors. This time, you are not only forced to face the reality of finding ways to manage your debt but also how to deal with debt collectors.he search of all your assets; and
● Collect a settled debt.
What Deceptive Practices of a Debt Collector Should I Look Out For?
You have to be very vigilant and take note of the deceptive practices below that a debt collector might use:
● Unless stated in your contract, you might be charged with interest, fee, or charges on top of the debt you owed the creditor. These illegal charges or fees might come in the form of:
● Interest charges;
● Dishonored check charges;
● Service charges;
● Non-contractual collection charges;
● Attorney fees;
● Litigation fees;
● Prepayment fees;
● Charges under dispute;
● Collection agency fees;
● Late fees; and/or
● Charges you of the communication costs;
● Threatens to take your property (unless legally so);
● Threatens to deposit, or deposits a post-dated check, without informing you that deposit of your check has been made;
● Uses other symbols or language aside from that of the debt collection company (debt collector’s business name may be used if he or she is not in the debt collection business);
● Issues letters that are sent out using an attorney’s stationery (without the attorney’s knowledge) that pressure you about your debt; and/or
● Threatens to advise the creditor to sue you for the debt incurred.
If you feel that you are currently being deceived by a debt collector, you should take action immediately to put a stop to it and stand for your rights even if you are the debtor.
What Should I Do If I Encounter Unfair and Deceptive Debt Collectors?
If you think that your debt collector have overstepped hisor her boundaries and violated FDCPA rules and policies, you have the right to file a complaint in court within a year when the violation happened. If a lawsuit is pursued and is successful, the debt collector will have to pay for the following:
● Any actual damages incurred and sustained caused by the violation;
● Attorney’s fees and lawsuit costs; and
● Any damages as the court may allow, not exceeding $1,000.
Freedom Law is Here to Help
It would be in your best interest to consult with an attorney if you have encountered unfair, unlawful and deceptive debt collectors. You have every right to bring a case against the debt collector in question.
Freedom Law is ready to help. Please request a call-back by submitting a short online form. All initial consultations are free and confidential