In a recent bankruptcy court decision issued on 7-10-14 by the Federal Appellate Court in Atlanta, GA, it appears that debtors in Georgia who file a bankruptcy case to get a better control over their debts and to seek all of the relief the bankruptcy code allows will be allowed a huge bonus! During their bankruptcy case, Georgia debtors also will be allowed to seek relief for any violations by their creditors of the FDCPA. The FDCPA prohibits ‘”false, deceptive and misleading representations” by a debt collector (usually a collection agency) and “unfair collection practices”. Sadly, the old joke is often true: “How do you know when a debt collector is violating the FDCPA? Answer: When his mouth is moving”. Not only can actual damages be awarded, but damages up to $1,000.00 can be allowed for each violation of the FDCPA.
Bottom line: In practical effect, the Court has allowed a “two-fer” (a two for one) by allowing a debtor to seek relief for a violation(s) by a collection agency of the FDCPA during the bankruptcy case. If you believe you have experienced a violation of your rights under the FDCPA, in order to to fully take advantage of this opportunity, when you consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney at JF&A to discuss your options in bankruptcy, you should also bring with you any written communications from any collection agency and any notes you took during any telephone conversations with any representative of a collection agency so that we might review them with you.
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