Debt Collection

Feferman, Warren & Mattison sues debt collectors for:
  • Threatening to bring criminal charges against the debtor, have the debtor arrested, garnish the debtor's wages or foreclose on the debtor's house
  • Contacting friends, neighbors or relatives about the debt
  • Harassing or obnoxious conduct, such as calling multiple times per day or using racially derogatory language
  • Filing a lawsuit when the suit is barred by the statute of limitations (for example, filing a lawsuit to collect on an auto loan after repossession of the auto, where the suit is filed more than 4 years after the last payment was made)
  • Contacting the debtor after receipt of a letter that requests the collector cease communication with the debtor or after notice that the debtor is represented by an attorney
  • Charging more than the face amount of the check (plus any posted return check fee) in connection with collection of a bounced check
  • Reporting the collection on the debtor's credit report, without noting that the debtor disputes the debt.
Congress passed a law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which makes these activities illegal. This law gives debtors many rights, including the right to stop the debt collector from harassing the debtor. If the debt collector contacts a debtor in an attempt to collect a debt after the debt collector has received a letter that (1) identifies the alleged debt that the collector is trying to collect and (2) asks the debt collector to "cease all communication" with the debtor, the debt collector violates the FDCPA.  Because debt collectors often claim that they did not receive these "cease communication" letters, it is best to send a "cease communication" letter by fax (and save the fax communication sheet) or by certified mail, return receipt requested.