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One Great Way to Sue a Collection Agency and Win

Updated on November 22, 2010

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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    • profile image

      Irresponsible and Lazy :) 

      3 years ago

      I wish sensitivity training was not illegal. I'd LOVE to change my name to Karma and introduce so to the world of irresponsibly laziness. I think I'd enjoy every second of it. Sadly I think those getting a lesson in laziness are not as strong as those they choose to damn and unfortunately any attempt to give a taste of a irresponsible lazy person's world would most likely prove to be fatal. It really is a shame, be fun to watch these type of folks eat their words.

    • johngriggs profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Scottsdale, Arizona

      Hi LOL, I do appreciate your input. Allow me to respond to your comment.

      "You should definitely learn more about the fdcpa and case law. "

      You are absolutely right, I should. Learning about the FDCPA case law so far as made me $2,800 off of collection agencies that broke the law by leaving illegal voicemails.

      Two of the three collection agencies that I won lawsuits against were downright abusive, threatening get a judgement on me, and garnish my wages. All of the threats they made, they had no intention of carrying out, which is totally illegal. The last debt collector that I sued tried to collect on a debt that wasn't even mine.

      A debt collector that leaves a Mini Miranda message on a voicemail avoids many lawsuits by doing this. The Mini Miranda message requests third parties not listen to the message, and that the member listen to the message in private so that others can't hear it. Only after that requests is made does the message give the company name, contact info, and the fact they are a debt collector.

      If your debt collector friend that commented earlier or any of your buddies who work at collection agencies want to leave voicemails without the Mini Miranda, I invite them to do so, just to prove your point. In fact, I hope one of them contacts me. I can sure use more money.

      My article is based on fact. I can easily back up what I say with reliable references.

      "The reason the economy is garbage is because you losers borrow money or use services you can't pay for. "

      I believe it's a bit more complicated than that Mr. Economy Expert. However, if you really really believe the economy is in the toilet because of "losers" like me, I would really love to know how you came up with that conclusion, Genius.

      "And I'm just an educated consumer who find people like you disgusting."

      Your writing and grammar skills are horrible. I think it's hilarious that you tell me you are an "educated" consumer, yet you start your sentence with the word "and". It looks like you are educated... at the third grade level.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You should definitely learn more about the fdcpa and case law. Collection agencies don't have to state the mini on your answering machine like the other gentlemen stated. If they did then they would be violating the fdcpa by third party disclosure. The reason the economy is garbage is because you losers borrow money or use services you can't pay for. You're all losers. Can't find a job? I'll bet you McDonald's is hiring. You're just fucking lazy or think that work is beneath you. Get off your ass and work two shitty jobs and pay your bills instead of trying to sue people. While you're at it why don't you go to Starbucks and burn your mouth on the coffee and cry I will sue you blah blah. Do you realize how fucking stupid you are? And I'm just an educated consumer who find people like you disgusting.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I own a collection agency, and yes, we are scum. So there.

    • profile image

      Ms lady 

      6 years ago

      Good job John!!

    • monicamelendez profile image


      6 years ago from Salt Lake City

      Nice tip John. I wish I would have had it a few years ago. I was dealing with collectors weekly!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I understand people get in binds and have time cut certain bills out but it can not be okay for a collection agency to call 16 times in one day!!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      4 years ago a credit card company sold my account to another company, I did not have to make any payments on my 10,000 dollar balance because i became disabled and lost me job. I paid a monthly fee to protect myself if I lost my job or became disabled the minimum payment was covered. Well after 2 years of litigation I was awarded a $22,500 settlement. Most of the collection agents get a commission if they collect. It is usually an eager lying worker that break the law, still the company is responsible for the behavior of the worker.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      eneal said:

      "eneal 11 months ago

      Speaking as a collection agency owner (I try to help people if I can), I just wanted to clear up of few inaccuracies."

      And that's what the president of another debt collection agency said too. But you know what eeeneeal?




      Credit Card/Debt Collectors are SCUM

      Let Dave Ramsey show you why....

    • eneal profile image


      7 years ago

      Speaking as a collection agency owner (I try to help people if I can), I just wanted to clear up of few inaccuracies.

      1) Most collection agencies are not bad, but it's only the bad ones that everyone talks about.

      2) A collection agency does not have to give the mini miranda if they do not mention the debt or other incriminating key-words. For example, "an important matter that is currently affecting you" does not violate the law.

      3) This is an informative article and I always appreciate an opposing side, but I must say that the last line "turn the tables on debt collectors to get yourself some quick cash!" is rather tasteless.

      Otherwise, thank you for your point of view.

      - Eric

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You my friend are a scum bag way worse than collectors that are trying to get you to pay a bill that you owe.

      "A man is not judged by what he does in the good times, but how he acts in the bad." Unknown

    • suejanet profile image


      7 years ago

      Great information. I have been getting so many calls and they do try to intimidate. I will record from now on.

    • profile image

      Debt Collection 

      7 years ago

      great hub...nice information and well written.


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