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John, Attorney
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I had a business that closed down in 2010. 4 weeks ago I have

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I had a business that closed down in 2010. 4 weeks ago I have been getting calls from a debt collector. I have talked with him many times and told him they are not getting paid. He since as called my tax accountant and threatened her that she filed false tax returns (without explaining any details) and he called my partner and threatened him stating he is filing a complain and will hear from the district attorney. Many of the threats are on voicemail which I now have on a transferable file.

There is nothing to his threats and he is only threatening the people around me in order to get money from me.

Has be broken any laws?

What options do I have? Do I have anything that could win in a law suit?
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the FDCPA) the collector's behavior is a blatant violation. If you send the debt collector a letter stating that you don’t owe any or all of the money, or asking for verification of the debt, that collector must stop contacting you. But a collector can begin contacting you again if it sends you written verification of the debt, like a copy of a bill for the amount you owe. If you decide after contacting the debt collector that you don’t want the collector to contact you again, tell the collector – in writing – to stop contacting you. Here’s how to do that: Make a copy of your letter. Send the original by certified mail, and pay for a “return receipt” so you’ll be able to document what the collector received. Once the collector receives your letter, they may not contact you again, with two exceptions: a collector can contact you to tell you there will be no further contact or to let you know that they or the creditor intend to take a specific action, like filing a lawsuit. Sending such a letter to a debt collector you owe money to does not get rid of the debt, but it should stop the contact.


Further it is blatantly a violation to contact third parties and misrepresent any intent to sue or legal authority. You could file a suit right now if you wanted, or you can wait and see if the demands stop. You have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, the judge can require the collector to pay you for any damages you can prove you suffered because of the illegal collection practices, like lost wages and medical bills. The judge can require the debt collector to pay you up to $1,000, even if you can’t prove that you suffered actual damages. You also can be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees and court costs, which is why there are quite a few attorneys willing to take these cases for plaintiffs.




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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you! 2 more questions:


1. Does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act apply to businesses the same wat it does to individuals?


2. Regarding the violation to contact third parties and misrepresent any intent to sue or legal authority, is that addresses in the FDCPA or somewhere else?

The FDCPA does not apply to businesses per se - for example the collection of a debt that one business owes another. The issue in your matter however, is that your business is closed and you, and people associated with you, are being personally harassed.

The third-party provision is addressed specifically in the FDCPA - which you can find here.
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