You’re Not Alone If You’ve Received Harassing Phone Calls from Debt Collectors
Millions of Americans took out student loans to attend college and are diligently working to pay off those loans. But a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that too many borrowers are subject to illegal practices such as harassing debt collection phone calls and unfair late fees.
According to the report, examiners with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency, found that companies that service student loans routinely made debt collection calls to borrowers early in the morning or late at night. The bureau identified more than 5,000 calls made at inconvenient times during a 45-day period, including 48 calls to one consumer! These calls are illegal under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Bureau examiners found that theloan service companies that collect payments on students loans were allocating payments in a way that maximized the late fees charged when borrowers made a payment that was less than the full amount due.Typically, servicers handle multiple student loans for each borrower. When they allocated a payment proportionately to each loan, it resulted in the consumer being charged a minimum late fee on all their loans and all of the loans becoming delinquent.
In addition, some service companies were charging illegal late fees even when payments were received during the grace period after the due date. Such late fees are unfair and deceptive under the Dodd-Frank Act.
According to the estimates by the CFPB, more than 30 million Americans—one in seven consumers— came out of the recent financial crisis with one or more debts in collection. The debts in collection averaged $1,500 per person.
Unethical and deceptive practices are an issue in many financial markets. And debt collection practices have generated a disproportionate share of complaints. For example, the CFPB examiners found that one debt collection company was imposing illegal fees on consumers and threatening consumers with lawsuits it did not plan to pursue. Has that happened to you?
As attorneys who represent consumers harassed by debt collectors, the Florida Debt Fighters at Disparti Fowkes & Hasanbasic have seen many types of deceptive collection practices. We use the legal tools provided by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to turn the tables on debt collection companies and make them pay for their illegal conduct.
All borrowers deserve to be treated fairly and to be free of harassment. If you reside in Florida and have been subject to repeated harassing phone calls from debt collectors, you may have a legal right to seek compensation from the debt collectors who have been harassing you. Put a stop to harassing phone calls once and for all.
Contact the Florida Debt Fighters for a review of your legal options.