Real Life Examples Of FDCPA Violations

Please Note



Below are real examples of FDCPA violations. These are meant to show the wide variety of conduct by debt collectors and creditors that can lead to lawsuit. This, by no means, is an exclusive list. You should not assume from these stories that the abuse you are enduring does not rise to the level of abuse worthy of the attention of our office or worthy of the legal system. It would be impossible for us to provide even a small list of all the potential violations, and we do not attempt to do so here. We want to discuss any abuse you are enduring at the hands of debt collectors and creditors.



The Above Case Was Recently Highlighted On ABC's 20/20.

At 3:00 in the morning, a debt collector came to the apartment of our client, who was behind on his car payments. He pounded on the door yelling that he would wake up the man's neighbors and tell them that the man did not pay his debts if the man did not open the door. When the man failed to open the door, the repossession employee proceeded to call the man on his home phone, leaving abusive messages. Warning - the language in these messages is profane and the only items redacted are the consumers name, the finance company's name, and a part of a phone number. Click to hear call number one and two.

It is possible for a debt collector to violate the law in a letter, without ever speaking with you.

Both the FDCPA and the RFDCPA are highly technical in nature. When you receive a letter from a debt collector, the collector is required to provide you with certain disclosures and notices. The federal statute requires one notice (Click here to see a good example of that notice) while the state law requires another. Debt collectors often ignore these requirements or include the notice but change the required language. This is a violation of the law. Click here to see an example of a debt collector who ignored the state notice requirements.




It is common for debt collectors to make changes to these notices. When they do, it is often a violation of the law.

Debt collectors sometimes try to "tinker" with the language in the FDCPA notices. This may be to deceive the consumer, or it may be to make things easier for the collector. Whatever the reason, these small changes violate the law. For example, something as small as inserting the words "in writing" can violate the FDCPA. (Click here to see a good example of that notice). We provide this example, not because we think you should be watching for this specific example, but to demonstrate that only trained consumer rights attorneys are able to ensure that your rights are not violated by debt collectors.


Debt collectors may not attempt to collect fees not owed.

Debt collectors sometimes add fees, costs, or other items to the debt, and this is usually illegal. Debts collectors can only collect the debt actually owed. They cannot collect their fees, costs, etc., unless those fees and costs are specifically spelled out in your agreement. General statements like "You agree to pay expenses required to collect this debt," or, "You agree to pay reasonable attorney fees necessary to collect this debt" are not adequate. (Click here to see a good example of a debt collector trying to collect fees and costs that were not available to them).