Some debt collectors will do whatever it takes to collect a debt. Unfortunately, this sometimes includes using deceptive tactics to trick consumers into paying up. And this can result in consumers paying debt collectors for debts they don’t legally owe. In this article, we examine whether debt collectors are permitted to trick consumers into paying debts.
Deception and Debt Collection
Debt collectors are prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) from using deceptive, false, or misleading methods to collect a debt. For example, debt collectors may not falsely imply or claim that:
- They are government representatives or attorneys
- A debtor’s failure to pay a debt constitutes a crime
- They work for or operate a credit reporting company
- A debtor will be arrested or imprisoned for failure to pay a debt
- They will seize or garnish a debtor’s wages, property, or bank account (unless this is permitted by law, and they intend to take such action)
In addition, debt collectors are prohibited from:
- Threatening to take action against a debtor that cannot be legally taken or that they do not intend to take
- Misrepresenting the amount a debtor owes or the status of such a debt
- Sending a written communication to a debtor that resembles or is falsely represented to be an official document from a government agency or court
- Using a name other than the actual name of the debt collector’s company
What to Do if You’ve Been Tricked by a Debt Collector
If a debt collector has given you deceptive, false, or misleading information, you should keep a record of all letters or documents the debt collector has sent you. You should also keep copies of any correspondence that you have sent to the debt collector. In addition, it’s advisable to maintain a record of the dates and times of conversations you’ve had with the debt collector along with notes about what you discussed. These records can be useful if you take legal action against the debt collector.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you’ve been tricked by a debt collector in California, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible for guidance. An experienced and knowledgeable California lawyer will advise you regarding the next steps you should take if a debt collector has violated the FDCPA.
Contact a Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney
If you have been misled by a debt collector in California, you should contact an experienced and knowledgeable California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney for assistance. At the Fullman Firm, our debt collection lawsuit defense lawyers are here to protect your rights. So, when you come to us for help with your debt collection matter, we will do everything possible to ensure that your situation has a successful outcome. Please contact us to arrange a free consultation today.