“Can I get punitive damages under the FDCPA against a debt collector?”
One thing that is a headache to deal with is abusive debt collectors.
Thankfully, you can be compensated for having to deal with them.
Unfortunately, though, that doesn’t mean that they will stop being abusive. Something will have to happen to make them stop violating the law.
This is where punitive damages come in.
Punitive damages serve two purposes:
1.) To punish the companies who have broken the law.
2.) To deter other companies, from breaking the law again.
When debt collection companies see other companies pay large sums of money because they’ve broken the law, they will re-evaluate their actions in the future.
So, how does this work with debt collectors?
Well, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) does not allow punitive damages.
We wish it did, but that’s the law.
However, that doesn’t mean that you’re helpless against abusive collectors what recklessly break the law. We have to look at other laws.
Maybe the collector is falsely reporting on your credit, even after you’ve disputed it with them. You may be able to sue them under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
If it’s a willful and reckless violation of the FCRA, you can get punitive damages from the collector.
Or maybe you sue the collector under state law.
Most things in the law when we’re bringing forth a lawsuit are either a contract or a tort. Invasion of privacy is a “tort.”
If the collector is intentionally abusing you, then you could qualify for punitive damages under invasion of privacy.
Or maybe the debt collector has sued you, and you’ve already paid the the debt. Or you’ve won the first lawsuit against them and they’ve sued you again.
If they’re being reckless with their violation of the law, you could get punitive damages from the debt collector.
If you’re dealing with an abusive debt collector, definitely look at the FDCPA.
Even though it doesn’t allow for punitive damages, it’s a powerful law that helps consumers in Alabama. It helps you with compensation and attorney’s fees.
Talk to your lawyer about the FDCPA, and look into the laws for your state to see what can be done to punish these abusive collectors.
You might even be able to sue for intentional affliction of emotional distress, malicious prosecution, fraud, etc.
All of these different ways to punish the collectors are powerful, and they will help deter these guys from breaking the law.
In addition, it will clean up the industry.
We hope this is helpful to you!
If you live in Alabama and you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us.
We would be glad to help you in any way we can.
You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you quickly.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!