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Newspaper Profiles Consumer Who Repeatedly Sues Debt Collection Companies

January 28, 2010

One of the most frustrating realities for our Moreno Valley fair debt collection attorneys is that many people don't understand their rights when dealing with collection agencies. That's why we were impressed by a lengthy article published in the Dallas Observer Jan. 20, about a man who understands his so well that he's actually made money from debt collector harassment. The article features Craig Cunningham, who has sued so many collection agencies that he's on an industry list of troublesome consumers. Cunningham, 29, considers himself a "private attorney general" whose lawsuits help correct illegal behavior by debt collectors.

Cunningham, an Army veteran and reservist, got into debt through ambitious investments that came crashing down when the real estate market crashed. Like many Americans, he began receiving harassing phone calls from debt collectors. But instead of hanging up or getting scared, Cunningham went online and began reading up on ways to handle the debt collectors. He learned about the numerous legal protections offered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which mandates certain behaviors by collection employees and forbids others. A similar Texas state law was even more friendly to consumers. The next time a debt collector called, he used a voice recorder to capture the employee illegally telling him things that weren't true. He sued that collector and won $1,000, then learned enough to file 15 more lawsuits, collecting a total of more than $20,000.

Another person who's made a career out of suing debt collectors told the newspaper that despite the collection industry's claims, "you can find violation in almost every collection attempt in America." As Westminster debt collection abuse lawyers, we think this is pretty close to the truth. The collection industry claims that debt collectors who use illegal tactics are a "rogue" minority, but clearly, there are enough to allow Cunningham and people like him to win multiple lawsuits. If the industry wants to avoid lawsuits from people who know their rights and use the law to their fullest advantage, all it has to do is avoid breaking the law in the first place.

Howard Law PC is proud to represent individuals and families who have fallen victim to legal violations and harassment by debt collection companies. Despite what the industry claims, these violations can have real consequences. Under the FDCPA and California's own version, the Rosenthal FDCPA, debt collectors may not threaten action they cannot legally take; use profanity or threats; or demand more money than is owed. Violations can (and are intended to) frighten people who don't understand the law, compelling them to pay debts they don't owe or could contest. Our Murrieta unfair debt collection attorneys help consumers who are victims of these and other deceptions sue, allowing them to recover up to $1,000 in damages, plus attorney fees and sometimes cancellation of the debt.

If you're feeling hounded by debt collectors who you believe broke the law, Howard Law can help. To set up a free case evaluation, please call us toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 or contact us online.