How to File a Complaint Against an Abusive Debt Collector

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Debt collectors are prevented by federal law from harassing you or using abusive tactics in debt collection. When debt collectors violate this law, you’ll make a complaint to the buyer Financial Protection Bureau and file a lawsuit in court. nobody should suffer abuse at the hand of debt collectors. Fortunately, you’ll punish abusive debt collectors by gathering evidence of abuse and making a correct complaint.

Getting Help

Find a lawyer. you’ll definitely enjoy a lawyer’s help. If you would like to sue a debt collector, then the lawyer can assist you draft court documents and represent you in court. Lawyers during this area of the law are often called “consumer attorneys.” to seek out a professional lawyer, contact your local or state bar association, which should run a referral program. for instance , in California, you’ll call a state bar hotline and ask someone a few referral. That person will ask you questions on your situation and therefore the sort of assist you need. At the top of your conversation, they’re going to offer you an inventory of qualified attorneys which will be ready to assist you .

you ought to hire an attorney as soon as possible after the abuse begins. An attorney will communicate with the debt collector directly and can be valuable in getting a resolution quickly. additionally , if a debt collector knows you’re being represented, the abuse will generally stop.

Complaining to the federal

Identify who the debt collector works for. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits abusive behavior in debt collection. However, the act applies only to debt collection agencies. If the debt collector works for the first creditor, then it doesn’t provide protection.

  • for instance , if you owe $10,000 to a mastercard company, that company can hire a set agency to gather the debt. If an employee of the debt collection agency abuses you, then you’ll complain. However, if a mastercard employee contacts you, then you can’t use the federal law as protection.
  • determine if the person calling you or sending you letters works for your creditor or works for a set agency. they have to spot themselves if you ask.
  • If you’re being harassed by the first creditor, you’ll still report the conduct to your state and to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Filing a complaint might not resolve your issue

Note that filing a good debt collection complaint doesn’t mean the CFPB will resolve your individual case. They collect complaint data so as to create cases of fraud and habitual consumer abuse.

Simply filing a complaint with the CFPB doesn’t mean the agency goes to actively work to resolve your specific situation on your behalf. you create them conscious of the abuse and this might cause a resolution. However, you’ll be required to require additional actions, like issuing a cease and desist or filing a lawsuit .

The CFPB currently handles all federal complaints

The Federal Trade Commission originally handled debt collection complaints. However, the creation of the CFPB transferred all consumer issues associated with financial products and services to oversight out of the FTC. You currently cannot file debt collection complaints with the FTC – they’re going to simply refer you to

Find a complaint form

you’ll begin a lawsuit by filing a complaint with the court. during this document, you explain the factual circumstances and tell the court what proportion you would like to be compensated. you are doing not got to enter extensive detail within the complaint. Instead, you ought to give the court an honest general idea of the events that led to the lawsuit.

  • Many courts (and most small claims courts) have printed “fill within the blank” complaint forms you’ll use. Stop in and ask the court clerk.
  • If you can’t find a complaint form, then you’ll use this type from the ny Court System as a sample: Revise it consistent with the facts of your case.

Serve a replica on the debt collector

you want to send a replica of your complaint to the debt collector. you’ll also send a summons, which the clerk can print off for you. By sending these documents, you provide notice of the lawsuit and provides the defendant an opportunity to reply .

  • Ask the court for acceptable methods of service. If you’re in small claims court, you’ll typically mail the complaint to the debt collector.
  • In regular civil court, you’ll need to hire the sheriff or a process server to form service. Process servers are often found in your phone book and usually cost around $45-75 per service.


  • If you’re in bankruptcy and receive abusive communications from debt collectors, then contact your bankruptcy attorney immediately. Once you file for bankruptcy, a creditor cannot contact you about the debt, albeit the creditor is good about it.
How to File a Complaint Against an Abusive Debt Collector

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