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

Can a Bank be a Debt Collector Under the FDCPA?

October 05, 2015

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is the federal statute that was enacted to protect consumers from abusive collection tactics of debt collectors.  Under the statute, only a debt collector can be liable for conduct that is in violation of the FDCPA.  If a creditor is contacting you to collect a debt that you owe, the safety belt of the FDCPA will not protect you.  However, The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), the agency of the US government responsible for promoting consumer protection, wants to change creditor liability.  In a recent opinion, the FTC responded to an 11th Circuit holding that a bank may be not considered a debt collector for purposes of the statute. More >

CFPB Orders Collectors to Pay Millions Back to Consumers

September 28, 2015

Earlier this month the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the agency in charge of regulating consumer protection in the finical sector, ordered two of the largest collection agencies in the country to pay a combined penalty of $79 million for violating debtors’ rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  The two collection agencies Encore Capital Group (“Encore”) and Portfolio Recovery Associates, (“Portfolio”) must pay both refunds and penalties to its debtors and cease collection efforts on debts totaling $128 million.More >

Increasing Your Credit Score with a Credit Card

September 15, 2015

Building your credit score may seem like an impossible feat.  In a world where consumers live and survive on credit, when you have none or have negative credit, buying necessities can be difficult.  Using a credit card is a sure fire way to improve or damage your score, depending on how you manage it.  While improving your credit score with a credit card may take a decent amount of time and effort, following these steps will ensure your success.  More >

Warning to Debtors – Do Not Spend Lavishly Before Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

September 10, 2015

In a recent decision, In re Michael D. Schwartz and Aseneta Schwartz, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Illinois is within the Seventh Circuit), the Seventh Circuit warned debtors who plan to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection to not spend lavishly before they file, or risk that their bankruptcy case will be dismissed for cause under Section 707(a) of the Bankruptcy Code.More >

How to Prepare for an Employment Background Check

September 08, 2015

When preparing yourself for a job interview, you need to do more than just freshen up on your interviewing skills.  Most employers today want to do more than just speak with you in an interview or read your resume.  They want to conduct a thorough background check and take a look into your credit report and history.  Reviewing your report prior to the interview to make sure it is in tip top shape is the first way to secure the job but knowing your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) will ensure the employer does not violate your rights and take advantage of your naiveté.    More >

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 >