Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Protection For Debtors Under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Are you dealing with harassing calls from creditors? Constant badgering and automated calls?

You do not have to tolerate creditor harassment. You have rights, and our attorneys can help you. We sue debt collectors for violating our clients’ rights. With decades of combined experience and knowledge in protecting clients from debt collection, we will take an aggressive approach to get you the results you need.

At Kazerouni Law Group, APC, in Costa Mesa, California, we sue creditors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Our lawyers combine extensive knowledge and an aggressive litigation approach to ensure our clients have the full protection available to them under the law.

About The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The FDCPA is a federal regulation passed in the 1970s. Its primary purpose is to protect debtors from overly aggressive, harassing debt collectors. Through various amendments over the years, the FDCPA protects clients against all types of FDCPA violations.

The Power To Fight Back

The FDCPA gives people like you the power to defend yourself and fight back against creditors who are harassing you. Our lawyers can look over your situation to uncover potential violations of the FDCPA or other similar regulations. We can force debt validation if you feel like a creditor is trying to collect on an invalid debt, and we can find a number of ways to stop creditor harassment.

Although every licensed creditor or collection agency should be well aware of the laws prohibiting certain collections actions, they continue to violate the laws and harass debtors. Our firm sues these entities and protects our clients from creditor harassment.

Contact Kazerouni Law Group

Talk with an attorney from our firm free of charge.

Resources

Stop Creditor Harassment Today

You do not have to stand for creditor harassment.

At Kazerouni Law Group, APC, our attorneys know how to stop creditor collection calls and how to stop debt collector harassment of all kinds. From our Costa Mesa, California, office we serve all types of debtors who are experiencing harassment and unfair treatment at the hands of creditors.

Most people dealing with creditor harassment feel helpless because they lack the resources or knowledge to go up against these companies that constantly call and harass them. At Kazerouni Law Group in Costa Mesa, California, our lawyers have the resources, the experience and the tenacity to fight back for you.

There are many ways to stop creditor harassment. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), for example, gives a harassed debtor the right to sue a debt collector who is violating collections laws.

One important option for some debtors is debt validation. One of the most common violations of the FDCPA and other legal regulations involves creditors trying to collect on debts that are invalid. In some cases, creditors make simple accounting errors, and other cases involve intentional misrepresentation of debts that simply don’t exist. Our lawyers can help you fight against these violations and protect your rights.

Contact Kazerouni Law Group ∙ Free Case Evaluations ∙ No Upfront Fees

At Kazerouni Law Group, we work on contingency, so you do not pay anything unless and until we are successful in your case. Call us today at 949-404-4228 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.

Protecting Your Rights Through Debt Validation

One of the most important sections of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act isSection 809 Validation of debts . This Section lays down the guidelines for conduct pertaining to the debt validation process.

Has a debt collector ever contacted you about a debt that you were not sure was yours, or that you believed was demanding more than you owed?

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act , a federal law regulating debt collectors, you can request the debt collector to send proof of the debt. This process is called debt validation. Section 809 Validation of debts lays down the guidelines for conduct pertaining to the debt validation process.

At Kazerouni Law Group, we bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to every case we handle. Our lawyers take a smart, aggressive approach to protecting clients who are being harassed by creditors violating their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

If you need a sample debt validation request, please call Kazerouni Law Group, APC toll free at 949-404-4228.

Debt Validation Period

Within five days of its first communication to you, the debt collector is responsible for sending you a debt validation notice. This notice should be in writing letting you know you have the right to dispute the validity of the debt within 30 days. The FDCPA allows the collector to include the debt validation notice in the initial communication.

As an example, if the debt collector’s first communication with you is by phone, you should receive a debt validation letter from them within five days thereafter. If the first communication is by letter, that letter might already include the debt validation notice; otherwise, you should soon get another letter including the notice.

If you don’t dispute the debt in writing within 30 days, the debt collector has the right to assume the debt is valid. The debt collector must stop its attempts to collect the debt from you until it provides your validation.

Submitting a Validation Request

For debt validation, your request must be submitted in writing (Kazerouni Law Group, APC has suggestions as to how to submit this request – contact us today). You can dispute the entire debt, part of the debt, and you can request the name of the original creditor. After receiving your dispute, the debt collector cannot contact you until it has provided you with the requested information.

Your debt validation letter must be sent in writing. Consumers often send the letter via certified mail with return receipt requested. This way, you have proof of the letter’s mailing and receipt by the debt collector. If you have to file a lawsuit against the debt collector, the certified and return receipts will help strengthen your case.

The Collector’s Response

After receiving your dispute, the collection agency must send you proof that it owns or has been assigned the debt by the original creditor. Verification that you owe the debt and the amount of the debt needs to include documentation from original creditor (however, it is the debt collector who sends it to you). It is not enough for the collection agency to simply send you a printout of the amount owed.

If the debt collector does not verify the debt within 30 days, it is not allowed to continue collecting the debt from you nor can it list the debt on your credit report. Should the debt collector list the debt on your credit report, you should dispute the debt with the credit bureau. Sending the credit bureau a copy of your debt validation letter along with the certified and return receipts will help get the account removed from your credit report. You should note that even suing you at this stage is illegal (they have to validate the debt before they can sue you).

Our attorneys will protect your rights aggressively and help you through every step of the debt validation process.

Contact Kazerouni Law Group ∙ Free Case Evaluations

To schedule your free case evaluation with Kazerouni Law Group, call 949-404-4228 or fill out our online contact form.

Protecting Clients Against Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Violations

Some of most significant stress that people face when carrying debt involves the aggressive creditors and their agents. If you are being harassed by collectors, it is important to know that you have rights.

At Kazerouni Law Group, our attorneys sue collections agencies. From our office in Costa Mesa, California, we represent clients throughout the state in Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) claims and other debt and collection law matters. We do not represent creditors. Our lawyers are committed to defending clients against harassment from creditors.

Typical FDCPA Violations

Though the FDCPA is a very technical statute and there are hundreds of ways that the statute can be violated, we have listed some of the most common violations for your convenience.

Talk to a lawyer from our firm as soon as possible if you have experienced any of these from a collector:

  1. Call you before 8am.
  2. Call you after 9pm.
  3. Call you at work more than once.
  4. Call third parties (the only person debt collectors can contact on multiple occasions apart from you is your spouse if you have one) more than once to try to locate you.
  5. Tell anyone else (apart from your spouse) that the collector is trying to collect a debt from you.
  6. Contact you after you have written to the debt collector and asked them not to contact you (there are more effective ways of doing this than merely sending a letter – for more information contact Kazerouni Law Group, APC today).
  7. Try and collect on a debt that is not valid [you would be surprised to know that this happens very frequently – usually the alleged debtor never owed the money or had settled the debt a long time ago and the debt collector is trying to double dip].
  8. Debt collectors cannot lie to you or use deceptive methods in trying to collect a debt (this is very vague and can be a great tool for you).
  9. Leave a message on an answering machine without saying that the collector is trying to collect a debt; he must leave his name and his company.
  10. Sue or even threaten to sue on a debt that you have not made a payment on for more than four years (CA – other states differ).
  11. Say or imply anything about arrest, going to jail, or the like.
  12. Threaten to sue you when the collector has no intention of doing so [this usually happens when you have been given a deadline to do something (usually make a payment) and if the deadline goes and they have not sued you, that is a violation].
  13. Threaten to garnish your wages without explaining that first the creditor must file suit and get a judgment.
  14. Say or imply anything about taking cars, furniture, or any other property and putting liens against your property – again a debt collector has to first sue you and obtain a judgment against you before it can do this.
  15. Sue you on the debt except a) where you live now or b) where you entered into the debt agreement.
  16. Embarrass you by saying things like: “You are a deadbeat; why don’t you pay your bills; you are a disgrace; why don’t you get rid of your spending spouse.” Things like that.
  17. Use profane or other abusive language.
  18. Shout, scream, or get angry with you.
  19. Give the impression that the caller or his company has some connection with the government, the courts, the police, other law enforcement, etc.
  20. Try to collect the wrong amount: add small fees, for instance.
  21. Threaten to deposit a post-dated check, particularly when the collector knows you do not have the money to cover the check. Typical situation: “Give us a check to stop the calls and we will hold it.” The perfect response to this should be: “The check is in the mail.”
  22. Call you repeatedly. A call a week is OK. More than one call a week is harassment. Certainly more than one call in the same day is an abuse, particularly if you hang up and the collector calls right back.
  23. Call you or anyone else (looking for you), after the collector knows you have an attorney.
  24. Ask you to pay more than you owe.
  25. Ask you to pay interest, fees, or expenses that are not allowed by law.
  26. Call at times the collector knew or should know are inconvenient.
  27. Use or threaten to use violence if you don’t pay the debt.
  28. Threaten action they cannot or will not take – an example of this is when the statute of limitations has passed and they threaten you with a lawsuit when that it is not a remedy to the collector at law

You do not have to tolerate creditor harassment. You have rights, and our attorneys can help you. We sue debt collectors for violating our clients’ rights. With decades of combined experience and knowledge in protecting clients from debt collection, we will take an aggressive approach to get you the results you need. Even if you have experienced some type of harassment not listed here, there is a chance you still have a claim. Our lawyers know the law and we can determine whether you have a viable case.

Contact Us ∙ No Up Front Fees ∙ No Cost Unless We Win

We offer free initial consultations and take claims on contingency, so you will not have to pay at all unless we win. If you have experienced any of the violations listed above, contact Kazerouni Law Group immediately at 949-404-4228 or email us.

Fighting, and Winning, Against Shady Credit Repair Companies

Our client paid a credit repair company called Zenith Credit Services $1200 to provide debt consolidation and credit repair on their debt. Zenith promised it would help them consolidate their outstanding debt and pay it off at a lower rate, causing less damage to their credit.

Zenith asked our client for payment in advance, and then proceeded to do nothing to help them. We sued, charging that Zenith had violated the law when it took advantage of our client.

Under the CROA (Credit Repair Organizations Act), credit repair companies are prohibited from asking for payment in advance, and prohibited from giving untrue or misleading representations 
about their services.

After a battle in court, the defendant Zenith Credit Services agreed to an offer of judgement, paying our client $5,000.

Unfortunately, the credit repair industry is full of scammers and shady companies that prey on people trying to improve their credit. The best way to protect yourself against these 
unscrupulous “credit repair” companies is to know your rights.

The Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) makes it illegal for credit repair companies to charge you before they perform their services.It also requires them to explain:

-your legal rights in a written contract that also details the services they’ll perform-your three day right to cancel without any charge

-how long it will take to get results-the total cost you will pay-any guarantees

Some warning signs of a credit repair scam are if a company:
-insists you pay them before they do any work on your behalf

-tells you not to contact the credit reporting companies directly

-tells you to dispute information in your credit report

-even if you know it’s accurate-tells you to give false information on your applications for credit or a loan

-doesn’t explain your legal rights when they tell you what they can do for you

If you have experienced a similar situation in which a credit repair organization asked you for advanced payment or misrepresented its services to you, please contact Kazerouni Law Group for a free consultation.

Director of CFPB Mick Mulvaney Suggests Bureau Will Engage In Rulemaking to Define Abusive

On Monday, Acting Director Mick Mulvaney of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP or Bureau) made remarks at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual conference indicating that the Bureau intends to engage in rulemaking to define the term “abusive” in unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP).

Currently, the terms “unfair” and “deceptive” are well-defined under the law, but Mulvaney thinks that the term “abusive” remains unclear after it was added by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

Mulvaney seems to believe that this ambiguity can lead to confusion amongst the lending industry, as well as opportunities for over-aggressive prosecutions, and that “companies have a right to know what the law is”.

In a January 2018 All-Hands Memo to the Bureau, Mulvaney stated his position thusly:

“On regulation, it seems that the people we regulate should have the right to know what the rules are before being charged with breaking them. This means more formal rulemaking on which financialinstitutions can rely, and less regulation by enforcement.”

This is a clear departure from the Obama-era Director Rob Cordray’s philosophy, summed up by this 2017 statement of his “”We wanted to send a message: There’s a new cop on the beat… Pushing the envelope is a loaded phrase, but that’s absolutely what we did.”

What Mulvaney does not explicitly say, but is clear from the record, is that the BCFP under the Trump administration is filing significantly fewer enforcement actions. 35 enforcement actions were filed in 2017, while as of this writing (October 16th) only 8 have been filed in 2018.

It is obvious that any further narrowing of the statutes’ interpretation by the BCFP would not lead to more actions, so we can expect this number to fall in the coming years. However, as the federal government takes a step back, it creates greater responsibilities for civil litigators in consumer protection. Through civil litigation and consumer education, bad actors in the financial industry can, and should, still be held liable for their transgressions.