Does the FDCPA Protect Me Even if I Don’t Owe a Debt?

The following guest post was contributed by Jeremy Golden.

Jeremy Golden, Esq. is one of the resident debt experts here at GetOutOfDebt.org that helps people for free. Jeremy is a consumer rights attorney licensed to practice in California. He represents individuals in cases against debt collectors for violations of the FDCPA. He also focuses on defending people in collection cases who have been sued by their creditors or debt- buyers. In the last five years he has won at trial or obtained a dismissal in over 200 collection cases. Recently he was voted one of San Diego’s Top Attorneys in the field of Consumer Law by SDMetro Magazine. His website is goldencardona.com

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Yes. One of the important protections that the FDCPA provides is that debt collectors cannot harass any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Often times innocent people are victims to debt collection harassment for accounts that do not even belong to them.

For example, a recent client of mine received a number of letters from a debt-buyer for a credit card that was not hers. She disputed the debt each time in writing. The debt collector persisted with its collection attempts and even submitted (false) derogatory information on her credit report.

We sued the debt collector to stop this pattern of harassment. We then discovered that a number of the credit card charges were made at restaurants and stores in Texas. My Californian client had never before set foot in Texas. Clearly this was a case of identity theft.

Therefore, we filed for summary judgment against the debt collector and the judge granted our motion. He found the debt collector liable for violating the FDCPA for its attempts to extract payments from my client on a debt she did not owe. The debt collector paid my client money damages and removed the negative information from her credit report.

My client had success in her case because she did a good job of sending her disputes in writing and kept copies for her file. It’s important for all people to keep good records of all communications with a debt collector. It’s also important to monitor your credit report as you never know when a debt collector might come after you for something that you do not even owe.

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