Fair Debt Collection Practices, Part 3

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) gives consumers the right to sue debt collectors who violate the Act. Under 15 U.S.C. 1692k, an individual consumer who has been subjected to unfair debt collection practices may file suit and recover any actual damages sustained along with statutory damages of up to $1,000. Actual damages may include emotional distress, humiliation, intimidation, and the fear caused by statements and threats made in violation of the FDCPA. If the suit is successful, the court will also award the costs of bringing the cause of action along with any attorney’s fees incurred. The fact that the court is required to award costs and attorney’s fees upon a successful prosecution of the suit make these cases financially viable. In addition, if the violation of the FDCPA is widespread, it is possible a class action may be able to be filed on behalf of all consumers whose rights have been violated.