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Fight Back Against Unfair Debt Collection Practices: Know Your Rights and Protect Yourself from Threats, Lies, and Intimidation by Fred Williams

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24. Preparing a Complaint

Enforcement of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is mainly left up to debtors themselves. The law provides a private right of action, empowering debtors or “alleged debtors” to bring justice against abusive collectors, usually with the help of an attorney who specializes in consumer law. If the debtor’s case prevails, the court will direct the collector to pay court costs and the debtor’s “reasonable” attorney fees, as determined by the court. The collector will also pay the debtor a statutory penalty of up to $1,000, a fine that the FTC has proposed be tripled. Finally, the act provides that consumers be awarded their actual damages. Lawyers who handle these cases tell me that damages can be worth far more than ...

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