Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

Schlanger & Schlanger, LLP is a recognized leader in FDCPA practice.

Fair debt collection litigation is a core practice area at Schlanger & Schlanger, LLP.  We have regularly achieved outstanding results in both individual and class action FDCPA cases, at both the district court and appellate level.  While we have handled cases involving many, many different types of unfair collection practices, we achieved particularly notable results in the area of state court litigation misconduct by collection attorneys, an issue on which we have repeatedly made positive law, and have brought multiple class actions.

Debt collection abuse takes many forms:  abusive phone calls, misstated balances, threatening and deceptive collection letters, and filing of false pleadings and affidavits in state court are just a few of the tactics we commonly see. These and similar unfair and deceptive debt collection practices are barred under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a federal statute that strictly regulates the conduct of debt buyers and third party debt collectors, even where it is undisputed that a debt is owed.

Under the FDCPA, a consumer whose rights are violated is entitled to actual damages, statutory damages up to $1,000; costs and attorney’s fees.  The statute explicitly permits class action treatment of FDCPA claims, including claims for statutory damages.  The FDCPA’s attorney’s fees provision is a mandatory “fee shifting” provision —  a consumer that prevails in an FDCPA lawsuit is entitled by law to his or her reasonable attorney’s fees and costs as a matter of law. Because of these fee shifting provisions, Schlanger & Schlanger handles the vast majority of its FDCPA work, and all of its FDCPA class action work on a contingent basis.

To read about our results at both the district and appellate level, click here.

To read about pending FDCPA litigation we are handling, including pending class actions, click here.

It is critical to understand that just because a consumer may owe money doesn’t mean he or she is without rights. Even if a state court default judgment has been taken , it may not be too late to challenge the debt or the debt collector’s activities. Hiring an experienced consumer attorney can be a critical first step to turning the tables on overly aggressive debt collectors.

The FDCPA is a specialized statute with which many general practitioners are not familiar.  It contains numerous detailed provisions regulating virtually every aspect of the collection process.  Schlanger & Schlanger has deep expertise in this area.  If you are experiencing collection abuse, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys.