FDCPA - The Big Five Violations

Image1 Greg Artim and Clay Morrow

There are many possible actions that a debt collector can take that are illegal. The list could go on for pages and pages.

In our experience, however, there are five (5) FDCPA violations that we see with much greater frequency than others.

1) Threatening action, such as wage garnishment, that cannot actually be taken. In Pennsylvania, wage garnishment for credit card debt is illegal except in the most limited of circumstances (usually if an out of state judgment is in place). Any threat to garnish wages in PA (that doesn't meet the limited exception) would be a violation of the FDCPA.

2) Improper calculation of the alleged debt. Debt collectors often tack on additional costs and fees and interest that they are not legally entitled to. If the collector tries to collect on an amount over and above what is actually due and owing, it is an FDCPA violation.

3) Calling or contract third parties. For the most part, a collector can only contact a third party (friend, neighbor, relative) to find your location and contact information, and only after they have made their own good faith effort to contact you.  They may not discuss the alleged debt with this third party.

4) Failure to send a notice of your right to request validation of the debt within five days of first contacting the debtor. This is called the g notice. The collector must advise you that under 1692(g) you have the right to request validation of the alleged debt, including the amount and the name of the original creditor.

5) Re-age the debt to preserve the statute of limitations for credit reporting or to make the debt appear newer than it actually is. A collector may not make the debt appear to be newer than it actually is.

 If you think that your rights have been violated by a debt collector, simply call our office at 412-281-1250 or 1-888-536-6644 or send an email to Morrow & Artim


FDCPA Information

Most potential clients have questions about the process of bringing an FDCPA claim against a debt collector. We hope that the following answers many of those questions.

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