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Released: June 18, 2008
Help Desk FAQ
What should I do if a collector breaks the law?
Violations or complaints of federal or state law can be reported to your attorney general’s office, the Federal Trade Commission. You also may want to submit a complaint to the collector's trade association, ACA International.
Section 813 of the FDCPA provides that “individual consumers have a right of action” against a debt collector if the FDCPA is violated. This right extends for one year from the date the violation occurred.
Consumer Action recommends that you contact a lawyer who is experienced in the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Visit the National Association of Consumer Advocates and search its membership to find an attorney near you. Many attorneys in this field will take your case on contingency, which means you will not have to pay upfront legal fees.
When dealing with a debt collector, even one that is following the law, be sure to keep notes of every phone conversation and save all correspondence. This will help you and your attorney prove your case should you need to seek legal assistance.