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Rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act -- Part II

We have discussed some of the rights available to a Tennessee resident against creditor harassment under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in one of our previous blog posts. In this post, we will be discussing some additional consumer rights.

Tennesseans with pending credit card debts are often victims of misrepresentation by debt collectors. Occasionally, collectors take extreme measures by showing up at the doorsteps of a debtor claiming to be a police officer in plain clothes. Such deceptive and misleading methods for debt collection are prohibited under law. It is advised that consumers contact local police authorities, if they fall victim of such ploys. Debt collectors are also prohibited from threatening debtors by falsely claiming that they are attorneys, credit reporting agencies or threatening to use their correspondence as legal documents. Such tactics are also illegal.

Mere veiled threats to file lawsuits or seize and sell property are also illegal under the act, unless the debt collectors are truly in a position to take such actions. Furthermore, debt collectors cannot threaten the debtors with false legal actions.

If any creditor or debt collector violates the provisions of the act, the harassed consumer may file a civil lawsuit claiming compensation for all losses incurred and agony suffered, due to such harassments. Compensation can also be claimed for court fees and attorney fees paid to file the lawsuit and recover the damages.

Consumers can recover up to one percent of the net worth of the debt collector by filing a class action lawsuit. Lawyers advise that consumers maintain records of all communications with their debt collectors and saving delivery receipts of written communication as they may prove useful in establishing a case for harassment against the debt collector.

Source: CreditCards.com, "Know your rights: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act," accessed on July 29, 2015

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-954-7180
Phone: 423-624-4002
Fax: 423-624-0509
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