Should You Sue a Debt Collector?

Should You Sue a Debt Collector?

If you are being contacted by a creditor about a debt, it can be an emotional process. Whether you owe the debt or you believe you are being contacted mistakenly, you may consider contacting an attorney just to know what your options are. You have probably seen ads or articles about filing a lawsuit against a debt collection agency, but what actually is an illegal practice and is it worthwhile to sue a debt collector?

Learn More About the Collections Process

The best way to deal with debt collection agencies is to learn more about the collection agency that is contacting you and how their process works. There are laws that govern the collections process and you can file a formal complaint if you believe a collections agency is violating these standards. Additionally, you can work with a collections agency to negotiate your debt, dispute your debt or simply stop the calls without paying expensive legal fees.

Look up the debt collector that is calling you. Get to know more about them and learn about how collection agencies work.

Be Proactive

Suing a creditor can be a lengthy and expensive process. Debt collection attorneys may make it seem easy to proceed this route, but there are much easier ways to stop the calls and resolve the issue. You can contact the debt collector directly to get more information about your debt, specify where they can call you or even just ask them to stop the calls. Once you contact them, they must abide by your requests.

Letters You Can Send to Debt Collectors

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides several letter templates that you can use to draft a letter to send to your debt collector. Be sure to keep copies of any written communication. You can find the templates here: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/1695/What-should-I-do-when-a-debt-collector-contacts-me.html.

Understand Your Rights

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDPA) protects consumers from unfair and illegal debt collection practices. If a creditor is violating the regulations outlined in this law, you can take legal action against them.

Report the Debt Collector

You can report the debt collection agency to several regulating and legal bodies that can help put pressure against the debt collector to improve their practices. Learn more about reporting a debt collector here.

Suing a Collection Agency

If you want to proceed with suing a collection agency, it’s important to determine first if it’s worth the time and the risk. If your debt is legitimate, it is also important to remember that you could still be required to pay the debt even if you win your lawsuit.

  • Consider Negotiation and Free Reporting First
    Under the FDCPA, there are several more cost effective options available to end harassment from a debt collector. In addition, many collections agencies are just looking to receive some sort of payment when they call and would be willing to work with you to develop a manageable payment plan or settle for a smaller amount than what you owe.

  • Be Aware of the Expenses
    Taking on any type of lawsuit can be a pricey endeavor. The legal fees alone can eat up most of the reward you may be granted if you win your case. If you lose, however, you may find yourself even further in debt and could be liable for collection agency’s attorney fees.
    In 2011, Olivea Marx defaulted on her student loans and was receiving calls from a debt collections company, General Revenue Corporation (GRC.) She decided to sue because she felt that the debt collector was engaging in harassment. In the case of Olivea Marx v. General Revenue Corporation, the court did not find that GRC had violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. They ordered Ms. Marx to pay the debt collection agency $4,543.
    The case set a precedent that a person who brings a lawsuit against a debt collector may be liable to pay for legal fees and other costs if they lose their case, even if the case was not filed in bad faith. For that reason, it’s important to pursue other simpler ways of dealing with debt collectors before suing.

  • Decide if It’s Worth the Time
    Debt collection lawsuits are typically filed in federal court under the FDCPA, a law regulating debt collection practices. Because these cases fall under federal jurisdiction, they can take months or even years to make it through the court system. Consider if you’re willing to invest that much time and effort into pursuing a case.

Learn More

The best way to deal with debt collection agencies is to learn more about the collection agency that is contacting you and how their process works. Read our articles below to learn more:

Questions or Comments? Click Here

At Convergent, we strive to abide by the rules outlined in the FDCPA and want to make the debt collection process as easy and stress-free as possible for our customers. If we have called you in error or you wish to stop receiving collection calls, please fill out our online contact form to be added to our Do Not Call List. We are also more than willing to work with you through a payment plan. To discuss payment options, please give us a call at 1-800-444-8485. We are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

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About Us

In business since 1950, Convergent is one of America’s leading collections agencies. As an accredited agency, all of our representatives are thoroughly trained on customer service and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act compliance. We believe in customer service and want to make it easy as possible for people to pay the debts they owe.

Our Contacts

800 SW 39th Street, Suite 100
Renton, WA 98057

800-444-8485
7 am to 5 pm Pacific Time
Monday to Friday

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