We have watched with dismay as report after report rolls in with bad financial news. Just like other Americans, many individuals and families here in the Chicago area are having more trouble making ends meet right now and may be at risk of losing their homes. Because our consumer rights and debt collection abuse prevention lawyers handle consumer litigation in Chicago, Oak Brook, Naperville and other parts of Illinois, we are particularly concerned about unfair and abusive practices by bill collectors, who many people may be hearing from more and more these days. Many consumers don't realize it, but we are actually protected under federal law from some of the worst excesses of collection agencies by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The FDCPA prohibits abusive and deceptive conduct by companies that collect debts. This covers a wide variety of practices, including misleading statements and outright lies, threats, abusive or foul language, attempts to embarrass the consumer publicly, bypassing the consumer's lawyer and tacking on fees or interest the consumer never agreed to. Under the law, debt collectors may not harass you with repeated unnecessary phone calls, call you names, use a raised voice or curse words, or call you at work after you've explained in writing that your employer does not allow it. If they threaten lawsuits, wage garnishments or other legal actions, those actions must be possible and they must follow through.
In addition, the law requires debt collectors to follow certain rules, including:
• Identifying themselves as debt collectors.
• Explaining that anything you say to them may be used to collect the debt.
• Limit contact with you to between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., your time, unless you agree to more
• Providing information about the original debt, including the name and address of the company you originally owed and a written validation of the debt if you request one.
• Notifying you of your right to dispute the debt within 30 days of receiving written information on it.
• Suing you only in the proper court -- usually, this is either the court where you live or in the area where you originally incurred the debt.
As anyone who has ever interacted with one of these companies knows, violations of these rules and other despicable conduct by debt collectors is sadly common. As consumer lawyers, we have witnessed some outrageous conduct by these companies and their representatives. Fortunately, consumers have the right to sue debt collectors who break the FDCPA outright. Furthermore, the FDCPA is a "strict liability" law, which means you need not prove that the bill collector was careless or had a bad intent in order to collect financial compensation; you only need to prove that it broke the law.
About How Robert Paisola Can Assist You if You are a Victim of a Rogue Creditor:
Robert Paisola is driven by a passion for people--motivating them to reach for the highest standards of success. As founder and president of many International Corporations including Western Capital and The Success Training Network, Robert trains sales and marketing professionals who want to strive to get to the top...and stay there.
He is a Nationally Recognized Criminal Rights Activist and is very involved with assisting inmates and their families who have been abused by the justice system. See www.PrisonPartners.com and www.westerncapitalfoundation.com
His innovative, no-nonsense approach is based on applying what he has observed in his fifteen-plus years in sales, motivational speaking and debt collection training, thus revealing the common business habits of the top 20% of sales performers in all organizations.
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Robert Paisola speaks on an International Basis to support his foundation, The Western Capital Foundation. He is also a noted speaker on the topic of Group Dynamics, Change Management, Investing, Real Estate, Asset Protection and Stock Investments.
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