Getting constant phone calls from debt collectors is a real bother. When the debt collectors are calling for a debt you don’t owe, the bother is even greater. One woman recently won a judgment against Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC because the company pursued her for a $1,000 credit card bill that she didn’t owe. The debt actually belonged to a man with a similar name.
Not only did the debt collector harass her, they also prosecuted her for the money. She was ultimately awarded $250,000 in damages for the violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. She was also awarded $82,990,000 in punitive damages because of the malicious prosecution.
The woman who was at the heart of the lawsuit says that she felt frightened during the 15 months she was pursued after she received the notice pertaining to the lawsuit.
Portfolio Recovery issued a statement via a spokesperson that called the verdict outlandish. The company hopes that the judge will set aside the verdict and plans to file motions reflecting that request.
Anyone who has been contacted by a debt collection company has specific rights under the law. Knowing these rights and how to assert them can help you as you deal with creditors.
One thing you can do if you have been contacted by a debt collector is to have them validate the debt in writing. That, however, is only one option you have. You should familiarize yourself with the FDCPA and learn how it applies to your case. That can help you to know if debt collectors are violating the law while trying to collect a debt.
Source: MSN, “Woman Wins $83 Million in Lawsuit Against Debt Collector,” Anita Hamilton, May. 19, 2015