What Do You Need to Know About Debt Collection Law?
Debt collection is governed by both federal and state law, specifically the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act.
Maryland law requires collection agencies to obtain a license from the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. A debtor can verify the collector’s license by visiting the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System. If a court judgment was obtained by a collector not licensed at the time of filing the collection lawsuit, then the judgment is void.
Under the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act, in order to collect a debt a debt collector or debt collection company may not use or threaten force of violence, threaten criminal prosecution, falsely disclose or threaten to disclose information that may affect your reputation for credit worthiness, engage in harassing, oppressive, or abusive communications, or use communication that gives the appearance of being approved, issued or authorized by a government agency.
If the debt collector violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you may contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission, or you may file suit for actual damages, up to $1000 in additional damages, as well as attorney’s fees.
Under the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act, you may contact the Maryland Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to report improper debt collection processes. You may also file suit against the debt collector and request damages for emotion distress or mental anguish.
Our law firm has years of experience in debt collection law, as well as business law, estate planning, real estate law, and more. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the specifics of debt collection law, please contact Lewicky, O’Connor, Hunt, & Meiser today at 410-489-1996 or [email protected].