One Great Way to Sue a Collection Agency and Win
Due to the recession, many of us are struggling to pay our bills. When you lose a job, or have a job that pays much less than what you're used to earning, sacrifices have to be made. Many of us then have to stop paying on high interest credit cards just to survive.
Once you don't pay a credit card company for about six months, the creditor will then give up trying to collect from you. They will then assign or sell your debt to a collection agency.
Most collection agencies are very aggressive when they attempt to collect money from debtors. Many of them threaten bogus lawsuits, insult debtors, and tell lies so they can make a quick buck.
If you have been getting calls from a debt collector, you may be tempted to file bankruptcy, sign up for a debt settlement program, or pay the collection agency. Don't do any of these. Instead, follow these steps and you can make yourself some quick cash and possibly have the debt removed forever!
Collection Agencies have to abide by certain laws. For example, when a collection agency contacts you, they have to identify themselves and inform you the purpose of their communication. This is done by giving what is called a "Mini-Miranda" warning. The wording typically goes like this "This XYZ Collection Agency attempting to collect a debt, any information will be used for that purpose". They must do this or they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. More information about this federal law can be found here:
If you receive a voicemail from a debt collector that does NOT have this Mini-Miranda warning, immediately record it permanently on a voice recorder or on your computer. Note the date and time the voicemail was received. If they threaten to garnish your wages or serve you papers, they may have broken additional laws to strengthen your case.
Now that you have a voicemail or two from the collection agency, you may be tempted to file suit. Don't do this yet. Instead, wait a week or two to see if the collection agency leaves any other voicemails. If they do, make sure to permanently record the message and note the date and time they left it. Then give the collection agency a call. The collector who answers the phone will likely use high pressure tactics to get you to pay. Don't be intimidated by them. Tell them you're not going to pay because you want to see proof of the debt in writing first. This will drive collector nuts, and they will likely commit more violations. Make sure to keep a notebook and pen handy. Write as many details about the conversation as possible. If they fail to identify themselves, don't give the Mini-Miranda warning, insult you, or do anything else that appears shady, this will strengthen your case further. Also make sure to make note of the person you spoke with and the date and time of the conversation.
Now that you have followed these steps, you are ready to file a lawsuit against the collection agency. Find a lawyer that specializes in FDCPA violations or consumer law. One way to find a suitable lawyer to handle your case is to go to your favorite search engine and type "FDCPA violation attorneys (your area)". Doing this search will you be able to choose from a lot of different attorneys. You can also find an attorney in your area on one of these websites:
All you have to do now is just choose an attorney that you like. Most lawyers that specialize in collection agency violations will take your case on contingency. This means you don't have to pay your attorney any money until you win your case. They will provide you with instructions on how to start the lawsuit. They will want a copy of any voicemails and information on conversations with the collection agencies. Once you've filed your case with your attorney, just make sure to check your voicemails and emails often, and make sure to sign any documents that your lawyer gives to you and return them promptly. From the time you file you initially start your case, you will receive up to $1000 in about three to six months.
Illegal voicemails certainly isn't the only way you can win a lawsuit against a debt collector. However, it is one of the easiest ways to catch a collection agency breaking the law. Use this knowledge to turn the tables on debt collectors to get yourself some quick cash!
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