Imagine receiving 55,000 identical student loan emails, all which have incorrect information. Sounds ridiculous and fake, right? Wrong. That nightmare became an Ohio couple’s reality this past week regarding their daughter’s student loan payments.
Consumers are protected under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as well as in North Carolina, the North Carolina Collection Agency Act. Many of the provisions of these North Carolina laws are similar to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). They protect consumers by regulating conduct undertaken to collect debt; impose certain requirements on debt collectors; prohibit various types of abusive collection conduct; and upon violation, they permit a consumer to recover actual damages, statutory damages, and a reasonable attorney’s fee. In North Carolina, each letter can be subject to statutory penalties from $500 – $4000 on a per violation basis. That student loan company can be very glad its mail onslaught was in Ohio, rather than North Carolina
Recently, our firm has resolved lawsuits under the FDCPA and the North Carolina Collection Agency Act. In 2019, Ed Maginnis and Karl Gwaltney resolved a class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the North Carolina Collection Agency Act for $1,200,000.00. In the case, a collection agency was attempting to collect debt, usually medical debt, from individuals who had filed a bankruptcy case and received a discharge (meaning they no longer owed the funds).
Similarly, in 2018 our firm was able to resolve a case in which our client was wrongfully pursued by debt collectors via harassing calls for a debt that had already been paid in full a few years prior to the harassment by the collection agency.
We understand that these calls, texts, letters and emails can be troubling and bring great stress upon yourself or your family members. If you or someone you know has faced any of these issues or even ones that are not listed here when dealing with collection agencies, or you have any questions regarding this topic and how to evaluate a claim, contact our firm’s consumer protection lawyers at 919-526-0450 or through our contact page. Remember to keep or log all calls, letters, texts or emails. Those will be very helpful in evaluating your potential case.
We handle debt collection cases throughout North Carolina and initial consultations on consumer protection matters are generally free of charge. Also, if you are interested in signing up for our consumer mailing list, where you can find out more about what we can do to protect your rights against abusive practices by companies, you can do so here.