In 2012, there were fewer lawsuits filed against third-party debt collectors for unfair debt collection acts against consumers than there were in 2011. So, I guess this means that Americans are paying all their monthly bills on time, and living within their means (except for the federal government, of course). No, that’s not it.
So then it must be because the debt collectors have decided to read the law and abide by it. But if that were true, there wouldn’t be any lawsuits against the debt collectors for abuse or harassment in the debt collection process. So then, what is going on?
Well, I see two things: First, the debt collectors are being sued for other things besides unfair debt collection practices. Last year Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) cases were up—and cases under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) were way up. So, consumers have pursued other causes of action against the debt collectors.
Second, many consumers choose not to sue in federal court for one reason or another. It really depends on the individual state and whether there are good consumer protection statutes that are available. If so, many consumers and attorneys find state court more manageable and flexible. Lastly, in our office, we saw a remarkable trend upwards in terms of clients hiring us and telling us of their horror stories.
Accordingly, we filed more consumer protection lawsuits last year than we ever have before. So, it’s not that the creditors are following the law—quite the contrary—I think it’s getting worse out there. I believe debt collection abuse is one of the most underreported abuses in the nation.
Sure, some people feel that if they incurred a consumer debt and weren’t able to make the payments that a debt collector has the right to harass and abuse them. This is not true and has never been true. If you are being abused by a debt collector, call The Dellutri Law Group today for a free initial consultation.