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Can you sue for punitive damages? I rather not post my state right now or the names of the companies but I have investigated them and know most of my states laws.

I was contacted by a debt collector the end of last year. I follwed up with a DV letter along with a complaint to the state. My state replied back that this company was already told to cease and desist once before and that they will tell them again. They still have not validated the debt and have it on only one of my credit reports but verified it 2 times. They will also not mark it as disputed..

I now get a letter in the mail from the same debt collector but when I opened the letter it had the name of a law firm. The person who signed the letter is an employee of the debt collector and tells me to contact her. The address and phone/fax numbers all belong to the debt collector and not the law firm.

So the debt collector failed again to cease and desist even after my state just told them to. Plus they are now using an attorney letterhead and are not an attorney nor is the attorney licensed to practice law in my state.

Do you think I have a good case against them? I would guess that now I would have to track down the attorney's address and include him in the lawsuit too.

I plan on waiting another month or so and see if they attempt to contact me again.

You could sue them for FDCPA violations for up to $1000.00, but you will need to prove that you actually sent a validation letter with a receipt signed by them that they accepted it, with a date. In other words, you will need documentation to prove your case, if you are up on the laws then you know what I mean.

Sub: #1 posted on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 05:43

Shazzers Shazzers
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(Posts: 17342 | Credits: 1592.83)

Yes and you can also sue for actual damages but was wondering if that included punitive damages. I got the RR signed by them and a copy of the letter I sent them. I also have a copy of the letter from the state telling them that this is the socond time they have been warned because they are not licensed and to cease all collection activities in my state.

They still are attempting to collect in my state and now using an attorney's name who seeing as they are not licensed to pratice law in my state, they must also be licensed to collect and are not.

The threats are real and are there and I have it all in writing so Yes I should be entitled to the max of $1,000 per the FDCPA but also my state consumer protection laws, debt collection laws and punitive damages. I really do not think $1,000 is enough for what this company is putting me through.

Sub: #2 posted on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 06:30


Yes, you can sue for punitive damages as well, but those are always harder to prove. Here is some more food for thought....

1--you said that they are reporting this on a credit report. Have you applied for credit and been denied? If so, you may have a case for what is known as real damages as well. Real damages are the actual amount of loss you suffered as a result of their action.

2--You are looking at more than just FDCPA here, and this is important, especially since you are looking to get more than the $1000 from them. You are also looking at FCRA violations, and those are up to $1000 PER VIOLATION. So, heres an example. Suppose they report on your Equifax credit file. You request validation of the debt. They dont provide it. You then dispute the debt with Equifax, and they verify it as accurate. That's one violation. For each time after that, that they update or verify the report, it is another violation because they are continuing to report this unverified debt as accurate. So, if they updated it every month for 6 months, thats 6 more violations. In addition, every time they falsely report a detail about this account, it's a violation. If they dont report it as disputed, thats a violation. You see where this is going.....it could add up to a good chunk of damages that they would now owe you.

I would definitely sue them, and I would request a trial by jury. A jury is made up of regular people, and regular people often can understand this kind of harassment better than a single judge, who may never have dealt personally with debt collectors in his/her own life. Your absolute best bet is to go on NACA.net and find yourself a consumer rights attorney in your area--most of these will work on contingency basis, which means you dont have to pay them at all, they take their fees from the debt collectors youre suing.

Sub: #3 posted on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 17:53

skydivr7673 skydivr7673
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(Posts: 2037 | Credits: 579.66)

Punitive damages are ONLY available under the FCRA, not FDCPA. You can certainly get statutory and actuals under the FDCPA, just not punitives. Personally, I would look to your state laws which often provide for punitive damages as part of their Fair Business Practices Act. Just make the state law claims part of your lawsuit to bring in the puni's.

Sub: #4 posted on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 22:27


If they continue to report on your credit reports but say that it is "disputed by consumer" is that still a violation when they have not provided you with validation? In other words does their putting the disclaimer "disputed by consumer" allow them to continue to report on your credit reports without validating?
I am asking this because a JDB - Midland Credit Mgt - is doing this to me. In fact, they called me to try to "work something out" AFTER I sent both them and the law office representing them letters reminding them of the validation request I had sent and the fact that they were violating the FDCPA by reporting on my CR without validation. Of course, I included copies of everything with my second letters to them and filed an FTC complaint against them.
Now, they have updated my CRs to noting that I dispute the account but they have not removed themselves from my CRs. Are they now in compliance with the FDCPA?

Sub: #5 posted on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 22:58


Yes it is continued reporting if you requested validation in a timely manner and they continue to report on your credit reports. There is an opinion letter on the FTC site about this.

Sub: #6 posted on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 05:43


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