Many Americans would admit that they have become somewhat immune to debt collection calls. With calls occurring at such a high frequency and regarding everything from student loans to mortgage payments, people often forget to stop and figure out if the debt in question is actually theirs. Pursuing debt that does not belong to a particular individual or exists at all is a common practice for many debt collection companies. Their goal is for you, the consumer, to accept responsibility for the debt and begin making payments without inquiring about its origins.
Phantom debt collection takes advantage of consumers’ willingness to address their debt issues and can result in thousands of dollars in losses. One of the most recent debt collection scams of this sort involved not only the collection of nonexistent debts but also debt collection practices that violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Unlawful Practices by Debt Collector
A legal complaint was filed against Lombardo, Daniels & Moss, LLC, in August 2017. It alleged the company of using numerous unlawful debt collection tactics. Some of the most significant include:
- Not identifying themselves as a debt collector during calls
- Threatening consumers with allegations of bank fraud and incarceration if they fail to make a payment
- Telling consumers that they were delinquents on their debt accounts and that they will be sued and have their bank accounts frozen
- Using generally abusive language during interactions
- Placing phone calls to consumers’ work, cell, and home phones multiple times a day, including after 9 p.m.
No matter whether the debt collector in question is in pursuit of a phantom or legitimate debt, they must operate within particular federal guidelines. When they work outside of the constraints of the law, consumers have the right to pursue legal action.
Laws that Protect Consumers from Harassment
The only way to know if your rights have been violated is to understand what those rights are. The FDCPA and TCPA are separate legal statutes, but debt collectors often violate both when pursuing collection. Including the previously mentioned violations, the FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors from exaggerating the amount owed, telling family members about your debt, and much more. The TCPA, conversely, prohibits debt collectors from calling residential lines, using an ATDS to place calls, send texts, or leave pre-recorded messages, and much more.
If you believe that a debt collector is contacting you regarding a phantom debt, reach out to a local consumer law attorney who can make you aware of your legal options. The Florida TCPA and FDCPA lawyers at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi can analyze the facts of your case and identify legitimate violations that warrant compensation.
Under the FDCPA you are entitled to up to $1000 for harassment by debt collectors, and under the TCPA you are entitled between $500-$1500 PER CALL! Remember, you will never need to pay our lawyers to pursue an FDCPA case. We get paid by the debt collectors. Contact us today at 1-844-JIBRAEL for a free case evaluation.