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Can I Sue a Debt Collector in Indiana?

Every borrower is protected against specific types of creditor actions that are considered illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If a creditor takes any illegal action against you, you may be able to file a lawsuit or report the company to the FTC. On the other hand, you may want to use the violation as a tactic to reduce your burden to the company. There are a number of good ways to handle illegal collection tactics.

Filing a Lawsuit in Indiana State Court

You can file a lawsuit in state court against the collections agency. You must be able to prove a violation of the FDCPA. You are entitled to collect $1,000 plus attorney’s fees plus any actual injury you suffered due to the illegal conduct. You have one year from the date of the allegedly illegal conduct to file suit. Generally speaking, these lawsuits are almost always filed by attorneys on behalf of their clients. They are the most complex to litigate and take the most amount of time.

Filing a Lawsuit in Small Claims Court

You can also file a lawsuit in small claims court. You will not need to hire an attorney to file this lawsuit, but some folks choose to have an attorney prepare their case and then argue it themselves. Small claims courts will limit the overall amount of damages you can recover. However, the hearings are quicker and judges tend to issue rulings more quickly than a state court judge would. 

Reporting the Creditor to a Government Agency

You can report violations of the FDCPA to either the FTC or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In some cases, the agency will send a warning letter to cease and desist the illegal behavior. They may also require that the company issue a payment to any consumer that has been harmed by the conduct. In cases where one company is committing numerous violations, the government may send supervisors to ensure compliance with applicable laws. 

In addition to federal laws, the creditor may be violating state laws. You can likewise report the misconduct to the State Attorney General. They will generally provide guidance on filing an FDCPA lawsuit and if they receive enough complaints, they may prosecute on behalf of the state. 

Using the Violation as Leverage to Settle the Account

If you become aware that the debt collector has violated your rights, you can use this as leverage to settle the account. Of course, you will need to prove that the debt collector violated your rights. Android phones make it quite easy to record a phone call, but iPhone users will need to find a workaround or purchase a third-party app to facilitate call recording. Nonetheless, once you have this information, it will be impossible for the collections agency to argue they did not do anything wrong.

Contact an Indiana Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Chris Arrington represents the interests of debtors in collections lawsuits. Call today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your next moves immediately.

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