Getting phone calls or letters from debt collectors can sometimes lead people to do things they wouldn't normally do. For some people, wanting to get rid of debt collectors might lead them to go through a debt relief company to try to settle the debt. In the case of debt collectors or debt relief companies, false representations might actually be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
A case in the Seventh Circuit Court dealing with the debt collection letters that offer the debtor a settlement has brought a troubling practice to light. The case has to do with time-barred debts that are coming to consumers with the settlement offer.
The opinion in the case says that debt collectors aren't allowed to mislead consumers into believing that these time-barred debts are legally enforceable. It says that whether a debt is legally enforceable or not is one of the central points of the legality of the debt. When a debt collector misrepresents that fact, Section 1692e(2)(A) of the FDCPA is violated. This point is exacerbated if the debt collector threatens legal action against the consumer.
This court opinion serves to alert consumers to be watchful about what is happening when it comes to debt collection practices. Knowing the statute of limitations in Illinois for various debts can help you to know where the debt is legally repayable or not.
If you are facing mounting debts and aren't sure about how to handle debt collectors, the assistance of an Illinois legal professional with experience in debt relief might help you learn what debts are legally enforceable and how to deal with the collectors.
Source: Huffington Post, "Do Debt Relief Companies Violate the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act?" Steve Rhode, Mar. 25, 2014