While Mississippi law is largely undeveloped in the area of consumer protection, our attorneys are licensed in federal court and have been trained to recognize consumer claims under several federal statutes. We also have experience in defending lawsuits by debt buyers and in helping consumers file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Our attorneys are prepared to discuss all of the options available to you and will find the legal soulution that meets your needs
Our consultation is always free and most consumer lawsuits will cost you nothing upfront as many of the laws discussed here provide for statutory damages and/or attorneys' fees.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates companies that are in the business of collecting debts for the original creditor. The FDCPA even applies to law firms who are in the business of collecting debts.
Under the FDCPA, Debt Collectors may not:
- Use profane language or threats of violence to collect debts,
- Communicate with third parties (neighbors family members, etc) about your debt without permission,
- Misrepresent the amount or character of the debt,
- Lie about who they are (i.e. that they are an attorney or a government employee),
- Threaten to arrest you or immediately garnish wages, or
- Engage in countless other unfair and deceptive practices.
Debt Collectors must:
- Stop harassing you if you notify them in writing,\
- Validate the debt by providing the name of the creditor and the amount owed,
- Inform you that you have the right to request a "verification of the debt", and
- Inform you that you have the right to dispute a debt.
The FDCPA can be a powerful tool, but it can also be a confusing statute to navigate. There are many caveats about who is covered and who is not. Check out our page on the FDCPA here for more information or schedule a free consultation today to see if you can use federal law to not only stop harassment by debt collectors but also recover statutory damages under the FDCPA.
FDCPA after Bankruptcy
One of the purposes of the Bankruptcy Code is to give people a fresh start. When debt collectors continue to haunt consumers about debts that were legally discharged in bankruptcy, they are not only violating the FDCPA, but also an order of the Bankruptcy Court. Our attorneys are here to help you achieve the fresh start promised to you in your bankruptcy. Our attorneys can verify that your debt was discharged, stop harassment, and pursue claims against your creditors for violating the court order and your rights as a consumer.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects consumers from having false information reported on their credit. We recommend that all of our clients pull a credit report once per year. Pulling your own report is free once per year and it does not reduce your credit score. You may be surprised at what you find.
If there is mistaken information on your credit or if you have pre-bankruptcy information that is reported on a post-bankruptcy report, you should dispute the information with the Credit Reporting Agency (Transunion, Equifax, or Experian), send a notice of the dispute to the creditor, and schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects consumers who received harassing phone calls from creditors. Recently this federal law has expanded beyond automated calls and can be a powerful tool to stop harassment. If you are being harassed over the phone or with text messages, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.
Debt Buyer Defense
Debt buyers are businesses that purchase debt that has been "charged off" by an original creditor. They purchase debt for pennies on the dollar and then try to collect on the full value of the debt.
Most of the time, debt buyers are able to buy this debt for so cheap because they buy in bulk without the proper evidence of the debt's authenticity. Our lawyers are experienced in defending these lawsuits and can spot evidentiary issues and defects in the complaint.
Debt buyers flood state courts with lawsuits, often seeking a default judgment or a quick settlement against an unrepresented party. If you are served with court documents or you are threatened with a lawsuit, you should talk to an attorney immediately. Our consultation is free and we can examine your case to determine what strategy works best for you.
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