How to Sue Debt Collectors
Deciding to sue debt collectors can help you assert your rights against an overly-aggressive debt collector. Debt collectors routinely violate debtor rights that are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(FDCPA). Sometimes suing them is the only way to enforce your rights, especially if you have been illegally harassed or threatened by a collection agency.
Federal law provides for $1,000 in damages to be paid to the debtor whenever their rights are violated by a collection agency. In some cases, debtors facing harassment from multiple debtors can receive multiple awards. These types of victories can be especially valuable to a debtor who is also struggling to cover household expenses and has no money left each month to put towards old debt.
While we cannot advise for or against hiring an attorney, you should at least be aware that federal law provides that the debt collector may also have to pay for your legal representation. Therefore, it can be worthwhile to pursue a case if your attorney advises that you do so.
There are some attorneys that have become quite successful pursuing these FDCPA cases
. Some people claim that these attorneys are simply taking advantage of a system that pays them thousands of dollars in legal fees while awarding only up to $1,000 to the victim.
One of the most prominent FDCPA attorneys to address this fact is Sergei Lemberg, who rebutted the findings of the Denver Post in a February 2011 story. He claims that the problem is not the attorneys that are specializing in this area of law. Instead, he cites a federal cap of $1,000 in damages, a number that has not changed since 1977.
Lemberg is one of several attorneys that have handled the bulk of FDCPA cases over the years. Attorneys Daniel A. Edelman, Craig T. Kimmel, Daniel S. Blinn, J. Philip Bott, Andrew I. Glenn, Lara R. Shapiro, James Pacitti and John T. Steinkamp have also been very active with FDCPA cases
Of course the volume of cases filed does not necessarily indicate how competent an attorney is. Still, you may find that your family attorney may be rather inexperienced in this field, so it is important to ask for evidence of previous awards before choosing an attorney.
You can fight a debt collector without hiring an attorney. Just be aware that the debt collector will likely send their attorney to face you, which could be intimidating if you have little or no legal background.
As with any legal action, there may be risks and costs involved. Therefore, you should consider seeking competent legal advice from a licensed attorney if you are unsure of how to proceed. Debtors Unite, Inc.
is not a law firm, and no part of this website should be misconstrued as legal advice. Instead, our purpose is to inform debtors about abusive practices and to provide debt help