Then they are lying to you. Because they don’t have a warrant, nor do they even have permission to sue in the first place. But then these are exactly the types of things that are blatant violations of the law.
The area of law that dictates what a debt collector can and can’t do is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This statute spells out all the things that a collector cannot do when they attempt to collect. One of the things that they certainly cannot do is threaten you with a lawsuit (let alone a warrant for your arrest). The reason why such tactics are used is because they typically scare people into paying money (money that they really do not have). Imagine if you are sitting at home and the collection agent calls, saying that unless you pay a certain amount of money right now, you are going to get thrown in jail. Pretty scary stuff! But it’s a lie. There isn’t a judge in the entire country who is going to issue a warrant for a credit card you defaulted on. That’s not what they do.
The original creditor can sue you for breach of contract, but unless the collection agency has specific, express permission from the original creditor to sue, it cannot even mention such a thing. It cannot threaten to sue, or even threaten to have the debt sent to the credit bureau. All of these things are violations of the FDCPA.
Now let’s broaden this a little further: let’s assume that the threatening call you received was to your cell phone; instead of you talking to the collector personally, the agent left a threatening voice mail; and this happens to have been the fifth time the collector had called that day. Well, all three of those things are violations. They cannot call you on your cell phone; they cannot leave threatening messages; and they cannot call you several times a day. If a violation can be shown, then the damages paid to you is $1,000. In addition, you are not charged any attorney fees upfront. The reason why is because if a violation is proved to have occurred, the collection agency would have to pay those fees directly to your attorney.
The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken have been providing expert bankruptcy legal services for years. Whether it is a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or a St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy, our goal is to get rid of the burdensome debt you are carrying. And if any of the debt collectors is violating your consumer rights, we will take care of them as well.