What you need to know about Fair Debt Collection

You have rights when a debt collector is pursuing you. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was created to promote fair debt collection procedures and to protect consumers against debt collection abuses. Learn more.

What to do with errors on Your Credit Report

You have the right to have your credit report accurately reflect your credit history.  If your credit report contains inaccuracies that are causing you harm in obtaining credit, employment or insurance, the Fair Credit Reporting Act provides relief for consumers.

 

Error on your Employment Background Report?

If you've had an inaccuracy on your employment background report, you are protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Find out more about false employment reports and know your rights.

Are you the victim of Consumer Fraud

Have you been duped into purchasing a vehicle based upon misrepresentations from the dealer as to the history of the vehicle?  Dealerships will hide previous accident history or other undesirable history of a vehicle to make a sale.  You have rights against those who commit consumer fraud.

Have You Bought a Lemon

If your new vehicle has been subject to multiple repairs for a defect, you may have purchased a lemon.  If you did, you have rights.  Learn more about your protection under the lemon laws.

 

Who has access to your Credit Report

Many Americans consider their credit information to be private information, and it should be. But who has access to your report and who protects your privacy? Read our latest blog post to find out.


Protecting Consumer Rights - Presented By SmithMarco, P.C.

SmithMarco, P.C.

SmithMarco, P.C. is a private law firm dedicated to representing consumers and protecting their rights. Managing partners Larry Smith and David Marco have been practicing consumer protection for over 35 years combined, and have successfully defended consumers in thousands of cases. They are experienced debt collection practices act attorneys and credit report and background dispute lawyers who can ensure that your rights are protected, debt collector harassment stops, and that credit and background report errors are corrected depending on your needs.

If you feel your rights have been violated in regards to debt collection, credit report errors, background check errors, consumer fraud, or lemon laws, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free case review or give us a call at 888-822-1777.

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You have rights as a consumer!

Even though you may be behind in your bills, it does not give a bill collector the right to harass or abuse you for payment.  As a debtor, you have rights.  Find out what a debt collector can and cannot do, or what they must tell you when trying to collect a debt.  If your consumer rights have been violated, we can help.

Are you a victim?

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The law is on your side.

There are laws written to protect consumers from unscrupulous debt collection practices.  Overreaching and abusive practices are not allowed.  In addition, there are consumer laws that provide for assistance in dealing with the burden of paying an attorney to help you with this problem. Let us see if we can help you with abusive collection practices.

Free Case Review?

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You may be entitled to compensation.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you may be entitled to compensation as the law provides for a recovery of up to $1,000.  The law also provides for the recovery of attorneys fees and court costs.  We offer a free case review to determine if your FDCPA consumer rights were violated.  Contact us to discuss your situation.

Find an Attorney

Recent Protecting Consumer Rights Blog Posts

How to Maintain a Good Credit Rating

September 03, 2015

Your credit report is the stepping stone to your financial well being.  Good credit or bad credit can make or break your chances at getting  a mortgage, being approved for a credit card, getting an automobile and earning a favorable interest rate on a loan. What can you do to assure you have a good credit rating?...  More >

Making Post Dated Payments to a Debt Collector

August 28, 2015

When making the decision to pay off a debt after being contacted by a debt collector, some consumers opt to write several post dated checks to the collection agency so that they are relieved of the responsibility to make timely payments.  What is becoming more popular in the electronic age is automated withdrawals from bank accounts or providing a debit card to the collector.  Is this a good idea?  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), the federal statute enacted to protect consumers from abusive collection practices, will protect you in the event a collector acts outside the law, but it is not always recommended that you let the collector hold onto your payments or have that kind of access to your funds.  More >

Debt Collectors and Third Party Contacts

August 25, 2015

If you are aware that you are carrying debt, your stress may become heightened when a collection agency starts to contact you. The letters start coming, the phone starts ringing.  But the essential question becomes, who can a debt collector contact when they are calling to collect your debt?More >

Citibank Ordered to Repay $700 Million to Consumers

August 14, 2015

After launching an investigation against Citibank Card Serves, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), recently ordered the credit card company to repay its card holders $700 million and fined the bank $70 million as a punishment for conducting misleading and deceptive business practices.  More >

Does Your Debt Die With You?

August 11, 2015

One of the most frequently asked questions when a loved one dies is “Does my loved one’s debt live on or die with them?” While mourning the loss of a loved can be difficult, the added stress of dealing with their debt can exacerbate these feelings of loss. Are you responsible for what your loved one left behind?  Does your loved one’s debt live on or is it buried with them?  The simple answer……it depends.More >

RESIDENTIAL LEASES IN BANKRUPTCY: SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO NOW?

July 29, 2015

A common question presented to a bankruptcy lawyer is: “if I file for bankruptcy protection, can my landlord evict me?” And, the answer is: it depends. It depends on many factors, such as whether you file for chapter 7 or chapter 13, whether you are misusing the premises, whether you are past due (and by how much) on your rent and other obligations under your lease, whether you can afford to stay, whether your landlord has already started the eviction process (and how far along the eviction is) and whether or not you want to stay. However, the fact that you have filed for bankruptcy relief alone does not give your landlord the right to terminate your lease, regardless of anything to the contrary contained in the lease agreement.More >

CFPB Lawsuit Against Frederick J. Hannah & Associates to Move Forward (1)

July 28, 2015

In July of 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the agency in charge of consumer protection in the financial marketplace, after receiving numerous complaints, filed suit against the collection firm, Frederick J. Hanna & Associates.  The law firm, which operates its business predominately in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina was sued by the CFPB due to its abusive practices while using the courts to collect debts.  In its complaint, the CFPB argues that the attorneys representing the firm failed to follow the letter of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) in pursuing debts and its conduct was a direct violation of the statute.More >

Chase Bank to Pay $136 Million to Settle FDCPA claims (1)

July 24, 2015

If you bank with JP Morgan Chase, there is a good chance you could be receiving a payout.  Just this past week, the mega bank settled a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) violation for $136 million payable to consumers residing in 47 states across the country with a majority of the consumers residing in Florida.  The large payment  is a consequence of the Bank’s conduct for its violations of collection laws and the illegal sale of credit card debt.     More >

Debt Collectors of Medical Bills and Credit Reporting

July 14, 2015

While it may be hard to believe, most insured consumers are carrying large amounts of medical debt.  Consumers must be aware that just because they have insurance, does not mean that all of their medical expenses are going to be covered.  Besides the co-payment requirements, often times medical providers make errors in applying for your insurance benefits, and the claim gets rejected, leaving the collector to pursue the consumer directly for the bill. More >