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Debt collector under fire by woman with financial problems

Consumers in Illinois may be encouraged to hear that one woman is fighting back against a debt collection agency that she alleges violated the Fair Debt Collection Act in their dealings with her. The woman admits that she has financial problems, but the debt collector gave her the impression that her problems may have been worse than she thought. Since then, she has filed a federal lawsuit against the agency and is asking that the court allow her to have the suit be considered a class action suit.

She is asking this since she believes she isn't the only person who was the victim of the agency. According to the Fair Debt Collection Act, when a debt collector communicates in writing with a consumer, there is certain language that must be used. In a communication between the debt collector and the woman in this case, they omitted certain language when they sent her a letter to "validate" her debt. In validation letters, the agency is supposed to make it clear that the debt will only be validated for the purposes of the debt collector.

The debt can still be disputed with a credit agency, in court or put into a bankruptcy for discharge. When this woman received the letter, she thought that if she did not dispute the debt with the court within 30 days, she would be admitting the debt. Under the act, this is not the case.

This case demonstrates how debt collection agencies attempt to manipulate people with financial problems. It will be up to the agency to prove that the omission of the language as an oversight and not intentional. For consumers in Illinois that are struggling with their finances and being harassed my creditors, there are certain protections in place under the act. No one has to be subjected to illegal debt collection activities.

Source:, Class-action status eyed against Nebraska debt collector," Russell Hubbard, June23, 2013

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