Dealing with charged-off and collections accounts can be a stressful experience for consumers. However, it's essential to know that you have rights protected by specific sections of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In this blog post, we'll explore how creditors can violate these laws, ways you can leverage them to your advantage, and steps to take if you're considering legal action.
Truth in Lending Act (TILA) Violations:
Inaccurate Disclosures (TILA Section 1026.6): Creditors may not provide accurate or complete information about interest rates, fees, or payment schedules in your credit agreement or billing statements. If you find discrepancies, this could be a violation of TILA.
Lack of Adequate Notice (TILA Section 1026.9): Creditors are required to provide proper notice of changes to your credit agreement. If you weren't notified about significant changes that affected your rights, you may have grounds for legal action.
Rescission Rights Violations (TILA Section 1635): TILA allows you to rescind certain credit transactions within a specific period. If creditors fail to honor your right to rescind, it's a violation that you can address.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Violations:
Harassment and Abuse (FDCPA Section 806): Debt collectors are prohibited from using abusive or harassing tactics to collect a debt. If you're subjected to threats or other abusive behaviors, you have the right to take action.
False or Misleading Representations (FDCPA Section 807): Debt collectors cannot provide false information about the debt or its consequences. If you receive misleading information, it's a violation you can challenge.
Unauthorized Communications (FDCPA Section 805): Debt collectors must follow rules about when and where they can contact you. If they contact you at inappropriate times or locations, you can use this as leverage.
Validation of Debt (FDCPA Section 809): You can request verification of a debt within five days of initial communication from a debt collector. If they fail to provide verification, you can take action.
Leveraging Your Rights:
Document Everything: Maintain detailed records of all communications and documents related to the charged-off account and debt collection attempts.
Consult an Attorney: If you suspect violations, consult an attorney experienced in consumer law. They can assess your case, guide you through the legal process, and help you decide if a lawsuit is warranted.
Seek Remedies: If successful, you may recover damages, attorney's fees, and potentially have the debt declared unenforceable.
As a consumer, you're entitled to protection under specific sections of TILA and FDCPA. By understanding your rights and the potential violations, you can take proactive steps to defend yourself against unfair practices. If you believe your rights have been violated, consulting an attorney is crucial to determine the best course of action and ensure that justice is served.
Remember, each case is unique, and outcomes may vary. Don't hesitate to seek legal advice and stand up for your rights when facing charged-off accounts and debt collection challenges.