Here's a recent report on a debt collection company that was sued for abusing an Army veteran. The veteran was declared 100% disabled after suffering permanent spine and head injuries during his service. The debt collector told the veteran that he should have served his country better and he wouldn't be disabled, and that he should have died.
The Chaney Law Firm handled a similar pro bono case recently, and helped a disabled veteran prove in court that he had paid what he owed.
This type of abuse is against the law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers against unfair abuse. Some of the things that are illegal are:
- threatening violence or other criminal acts to get someone to pay a debt
- cursing at a consumer who owes a debt
- publishing someone's name in a list of people who owe money
- repeated telephone calls
- lying about the character, amount, or legal status of the debt
The FDCPA prohibits many other acts as well. If a consumer is tired of hearing from a debt collector, he or she should (1) tell the debt collector to provide validation of the debt, and (2) instruct the debt collector not to call or write anymore. If the debt collector's conduct becomes abusive, a consumer should keep a log of contact from the debt collector, noting the date, time, and duration of the call as well as what the debt collector said. Attorneys need this type of information to be able to help.