Yes, there is. It is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). It is a federal law that is designed to protect you against all the horrible things that a collection agency can (and will) do in its attempts to collect on a debt. But there is far more to it than that.
The FDCPA was set up as a way to combat the excessive and flagrant abuse of the system that debt collectors engage in. The statute lays out very clearly what is a violation of the law, and spells out what the remedies are when a violation occurs.
For instance, it is a violation of the FDCPA to leave improper messages. So if a collector leaves a voice message for you, but fails to identify itself as a collector (or that it is attempting to collect on a debt), then it has broken the law. If the collection agency representative threatens you with a lawsuit, or a wage garnishment, or anything that sounds threatening at all, then chances are it has violated your consumer rights. Or if the collector uses foul language, racial slurs, or speaks in a harsh tone to you, it has more than likely violated your rights.
But there is a way to fight back against these tactics. The FDCPA states that if a collection agency is violating your rights, it must pay you $1,000 in damages. In addition, the law states that the collector must also pay for all of your reasonable attorney fees. This means that a law firm does not have to charge you any upfront fees to take on your case (because it will be the collector who will take care of the bill).
Aside from any issues with debt collectors, you may also be suffering from a very high debt load. This may come in the form of credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, or even old utility bills and cell phone plans. In such a scenario, it may be a good idea to look into whether a St. Louis bankruptcy could be helpful. Such a filing can wipe out the unsecured debt you are dealing with, stop garnishments and bank levies, and put an end to any collection activities altogether. The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken have been assisting people with their stressful situations for over ten (10) years. Our goals is to get you back on your financial feet and moving in the right direction. We do this by making that you receive the fresh start / clean slate that you deserve in life to restart.
We have one location by appointment only: 4625 Lindell Blvd St. Louis, MO 63108. The consultation to discuss your legal issues is free of charge. So contact us today to learn more!!