The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), codified at 15 U.S.C. S 1692 -1692p, was originally approved on September 20, 1977. The California equivalent is known as the "Rosenthal Act", and is codified at Calif. Civil Code 1788-1788.32. These sets of laws provide consumers with legal protection from abusive debt collection practices. The purposes are to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts, to promote fair debt collection, and to provide consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information's accuracy. They also provide penalties and remedies for violations of the Act, and attorney's fees are guaranteed to be paid by the debt collector if any one alleged violation is found to be true.
Both sets of laws provide the consumer up to $1000.00 for any one violation of any of the following, among others:
These laws also require certain disclosures by debt collects that must be followed. Such requirements include the following:
More importantly, these laws contain an attorney's fee clause, which means that the debt collector who violates this act is responsible for paying for the consumer's attorney's fees. This ultimately means that an individual can retain an attorney, prosecute a case from investigation to trial, and pay nothing out of pocket.
FDCPA claims can be brought in State Superior Court as well as Federal District Court. Regardless of where the case is filed, or ultimately removed, the rights and obligations of the debt collector does not change.
California Rosenthal, or the California Rosenthal Act, is California's state FDCPA statute ("RFDCPA"). It pretty much has the same rules except that not only does this apply to debt collectors, but it applies to creditors themselves.
Like the Federal FDCPA, the Rosenthal Act was passed in 1977. The Rosenthal Act is very similar to the Federal FDCPA in that it creates several requirements that debt collectors MUST comply with in their debt collection efforts. The difference is that Rosenthal applies to the original creditor and third-party debt collectors, whereas Federal FDCPA only applies to a third-party debt collection agency that takes over collection of the debt.
Rosenthal Act derives its power to sue all creditors from Civ. Code S 1788.2(c) which states that a "debt collector" includes anyone "who, in the ordinary course of business, regularly, on behalf of himself or herself or others, engages in debt collection."
You can file FDCPA and Rosenthal claims together in Federal or State court. You can sue for FDCPA, Rosenthal, and any violations of FDCPA through Rosenthal. That is a potential award of $2,000 statutory damages to YOU as the client, and at no cost to you because our attorney's fees are paid by the defense.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations to bring a claim under the FDCPA as well as the Rosenthal Act is one year.
The attorneys and legal staff at Semnar & Hartman, LLP utilize joint resources to provide our clients with an abundant amount of experience in reviewing and ultimately prosecuting cases against both the original creditors and third-party debt collection agencies. We offer all potential clients with a free confidential case review.
The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates how debt collects can attempt to collect a debt from consumers. These laws only apply if the alleged debt is a consumer debt, meaning it was incurred for personal or household purposes. If you are not sure whether your circumstances fit in this area of law, please contact us immediately to discuss whether a different violation has occurred. Learn More ...
The statute authorizes a private cause of action by a person, including the debtor or any other person affected by the provisions of the statute, to be brought against the collector within one year from the date of violation.You may be entitled to up to $1,000, actual damages, and attorney's fees, so there will be NO FEE for asserting your claim. Also, they could owe you $500 per phone call. Learn More ...
A couple minutes into my first phone conversation with Jared and Bob, I knew I found the right team. I felt like I was talking with family. They never sugar-coated anything, but I never felt scared or worried because I had so much confidence in their experience, knowledge of the law, and professionalism. I can confidently recommend Jared Hartman and Bob Semnar without hesitation and wish them continued success down the road.
Bob is an excellent attorney. He has helped me resolve issues that I had thought would never get fixed. He is extremely knowledgeable about consumer rights and really does fight for the little guy. After years of trying to fix multiple errors and dealing with collection agencies that didn't bother to follow the rules even when I did, Bob was able to get everything fixed for me and forced these companies to follow the law.
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