If a bill collector violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, document the violation immediately. Make note of what happened, the date and the time the violation took place and who witnessed it. In some states, without debt collectors’ knowledge, you can record phone conversations. If this is something you decide to do, you should take precaution. In about a dozen states, this is considered illegal. A much safer way to go about this is to simply have a witness present the next time you talk to the collector. The witness can either be on the same phone line with you or in the room if you happen to have a speaker phone. The next step is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. After you file that complaint, you should complain to your state consumer protection agency. Lastly, send a copy of your complaint to the creditor that hired the collection agency. The creditor may stop the collection efforts if the violation is drastic enough. You may also sue the collection agency as well as the creditor who hired the agency. You would sue them in a small claims court for violating the act. If you can only prove a few minor violations, your chances of winning the case are much smaller than if you were able to prove major violations. If the violations are shocking enough, you can sue the creditor and the collection agency in a regular civil court.
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