When Does the FDCPA One Year Statute of Limitations Clock Start Ticking?
- November 18, 2016
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By: Robert J. Nahoum
You have been harassed, abused, misled and lied to by a debt collector in violation of Federal debt collection laws called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA for short). You’ve done your research and learned that you can sue the debt collector for its abuses. However, you’ve also learned that the FDCPA has only a one year statute of limitations.
The question you are not asking – when does the FDCPA one year statute of limitations clock start clicking?
Federal debt collection laws called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA for short), regulates the collection of consumer debts by third party debt collectors including collection agencies, junk debt buyers and debt collection lawyers. The FDCPA generally prohibits the use of false, deceptive and harassing debt collection tactics. If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, it can be sued for statutory damages up to $1,000.00, actual damages (like pain and suffering) and the debt collector may have to pay the consumer’s attorney’s fees.
A consumer who seeks to bring a suit under the FDCPA, must do so within its relatively short one-year statute of limitations.
It has been held that a claim accrues “when conduct that invades the rights of another has caused injury. When the injury occurs, the injured party has the right to bring suit for all of the damages, past, present and future, caused by the defendant’s acts”. In other words, for FDCPA purposes, the one year clock starts to tick when the consumer first learns and experiences the violation.
The relevant example is a case where the debt collection law firm Houslanger and Associates wrongly froze a consumer’s bank account. The question the court had to answer was – did the clock start to tick when Houslanger mailed the restraining notice, or the later date when the bank account was actually frozen.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
The FDCPA gives consumers the power to turn the tables on the debt collector. If a debt collector has used false, deceptive or harassing debt collection tactics against you, call a consumer attorney to see if you have a case. If you do, you can sue the debt collector for statutory damages up to $1,000.00, actual damages (like pain and suffering) and best of all, the debt collector may have to pay for your legal fees. This means an FDCPA case should not cost you a penny out of pocket.
If you need help settling or defending a debt collection law suit, stopping harassing debt collectors or suing a debt collector, contact us today to see what we can do for you. With office located in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Rockland County, the Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum defends consumers in debt collection cases throughout the Tristate area including New Jersey.
The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C