Frequently Asked Questions
As a consumer, you have many rights regarding how your debt is handled and collected. You should know about these rights and how to take legal action if they are violated. Below are a few frequently asked questions that you might find yourself wondering about. For more in-depth answers to these and other questions you have about consumer debt collection practices, credit reporting, and your rights, speak with an experienced consumer credit protection lawyer.
When Do a Collector’s Calls Become Harassment?
There is no specific call frequency that constitutes harassment. When a debt collector calls a consumer frequently enough to be annoying or for the calls to be construed as an act of abuse, the calls may be considered harassment. Similarly, calling the consumer late at night and early in the morning, times typically considered inconvenient, is harassment.
Which Damages can I Recover Compensation for through a Lawsuit?
Damages are the losses you experience because of the mistreatment you face from debt collectors. They can include expenses related to your emotional trauma, the cost of hiring a lawyer to sue the debt collector, and actual damages, the money you lose directly because of the harassment, such as money you pay out of fear that you will be physically harmed or imprisoned. You may also recover statutory damages, the amount of compensation set by law for the violation you faced.
Where Can I Report an Act of Harassment or Another Violation?
You should report the harassment you face to your state’s attorney general. In Illinois, complaints are handled by the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division.
You can also report your experience to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau online or by calling their hot line.
How Long Do I Have to Dispute my Debt?
If you think you do not actually owe the debt a collector claims you owe, you may dispute the debt with your creditor. This may be done within 30 days of receiving the initial notice of the debt. Once you dispute the debt in writing within this 30-day period, debt collectors may not contact you until you have received verification from your creditor that you do, in fact, owe the money.
Where Can I Check my Credit Report?
You have the right to check your credit report for free once every year. Each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, must provide credit reports when asked. This right is guaranteed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. To access your report, you can visit annualcreditreport.com or request your report by mail.
Contact Our Team of Credit Protection Lawyers for More Information
If you have more questions about your rights as a consumer and which actions creditors and debt collectors can legally take to recover money from you, contact our office today at (312) 909-6089. We can answer any questions you have and offer personalized legal advice and representation when you need it.