An FDCPA Claim Is not a Defense to A
by: Robert J. Nahoum
June 2, 2011
The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C, practices in the area of consumer protection and stopping debt collectors. Contact us today to see if you have a case against a debt collector. (845) 232-0202; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.nahoumlaw.com;
Many clients who walk through my door understandably confuse their FDCPA claim with a defense to a collection case. In other words, consumers sometimes have the impression that because the debt collector’s conduct was false, misleading or harassing, as a punishment to the debt collector, they no longer have to pay the underlying debt. Oh how I wish it were true. Unfortunately, it is not.
However, all is not lost; under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §1692 et. seq.), if the debt collector is found liable for illegal debt collection practices, it is on the hook to you the consumer for at least $1,000.00 in statutory damages. That $1,000.00 may go a long way in helping to resolve the underlying debt.
What’s more, the FDCPA also allows the consumer to recover his “actual damages”. What are actual damages you ask? Actual damages can include:
· Stress induced Health Injuries:
o Heart attack, angina, chest constrictions;
o Ulcers, diabetic flare-up;
o Loss of appetite;
o Nightmares; insomnia, night sweats;
o Emotional paralysis;
o Inability to think or function at work;
o Shortness of breath;
o Anxiety, nervousness; fear and worry;
o Stress to children;
o Embarrassment, humiliation;
o Indignation and pain and suffering.
· Monetary damages:
o Payment of a debt barred by the statute of limitations;
o Payment to lawyers in defending a lawsuit that never legally should have been brought;
o Unlawful repossession of property;
o Long distance phone calls to debt collectors who insist that call him back.
So, while it is clear that an FDCPA claim is not a defense to a collection account, pursuing your consumer protection rights can go a long way to mitigate that debt.
About the Author
Robert Nahoum is a New York State attorney practicing consumer protection and general litigation in the Tri-State Area including New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk. His practice includes Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), putting an end to illegal debt collection practices and debt collection harassment, debtor’s rights and mortgage foreclosure defense.
99 Main Street, Suite 311 · Nyack, NY 10960
Phone: 845.232.0202· Fax: 888.450.8640
Web: www.nahoumlaw.com· Email: email@example.com