Michigan Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Collection agencies like to use high pressure tactics such as calls to your place of employment, reporting to the credit bureaus, and threats of garnishment. Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to provide protection against abusive and unfair practices. Some states have also enacted laws to provide protection for consumers who are dealing with debt collectors. In Michigan, there are laws that protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices.
Michigan has a few different laws to protect consumers. One of which (Mich.Comp.Laws §§339.901 to 339.930) covers debt collectors and repossessors. This law, however, excludes attorneys, financial institutions (such as banks and other lenders) and real estate professionals amongst other entities.
Also, this statute is a licensing statute – requiring the debt collector to be licensed to collect in Michigan- and prohibits misleading or deceptive communications, misrepresentations that the oneself as an attorney or credit bureau, simulated legal process, unlawful threats, publications, harassing or oppressive methods.
This law also provides for private remedies for consumers to allow a victim recovery of actual damages or $50, or equitable relief. This Michigan law also provides for treble damages or $150 for willful violations, and allows for attorney’s fees for willful violations.
In addition, there is Mich.Comp.Laws §§445.251to 445.258 that covers banks, attorneys and creditors. This statute prohibits misleading or deceptive communications, simulated legal process, unlawful threats, publication, harassing or oppressive methods. In this Michigan law, private remedies include recovery of actual damages or $50, or equitable relief. Treble damages or $150 for willful violations. Also allows for attorneys fees for willful violations.