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Licensed in Maryland and California (inactive). Hiring a lawyer should not be based solely upon advertisements or websites.  This website and its contents are a form of attorney advertising, and are not intended to be legal advice or counsel.  By using this site, you agree to hold The Law Office of Derek A. Hills and its attorney harmless for your reliance on any information contained herein.  Your use of this site and its content, or communication with our office or its attorney via telephone or email does not create an attorney-client relationship.  No attorney-client relationship exists until we first enter a formal representation agreement.  You should not provide us with confidential information until a formal representation agreement has been acknowledged by our office or its attorney.

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CONSUMER PROTECTION

DEBT COLLECTION DEFENSE

If you have received a summons requesting your appearance in court concerning a debt owed to a company that you may or may not know, do not ignore it!  Many people do ignore these complaints, and the debt collector may legally garnish their wages or bank accounts.   Often, there are legitimate defenses to these claims.

AUTO FRAUD

  • Automobile Financing Fraud

  • Lemon Law Claims

  • Warranty Fraud

  • Unfair Deceptive Acts and Practices

  • Failure to Disclose Prior Accidents

  • Delivering vehicle prior to credit approval

  • Rolling Back the Odometer

HARASSMENT FROM DEBT COLLECTORS

In general, the federal  Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and  the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act prohibit debt collectors from actions that are unfair, deceptive, or abusive in their efforts to collect consumer debts.  In particular, both statutes prohibit:

  • Harassment or abuse of any person in connection with debt collection activities;

  • False or misleading representations in connection with collection of any debt; or

  • Unfair or unsociable practices with the collection or attempt to collect a debt.

Such abusive debt collection activities include:

  • Collecting a debt that a consumer does not owe or that has been discharged

  • Excessive phone calls at unusual or inconvenient times, including calling a consumer at work, or using autodialers and robodialers (especially if they call you on your cell phone)

  • Calling a consumer's family and friends and potentially discussing the debt collection with them

  • Calling a consumer names, insulting a consumer, hanging up on a customer, or using profane language

 

YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW

If you have a successful claim under the FDCPA or under its Maryland Counterpart, you are entitled to:

  • Your cost in pursuing the lawsuit

  • Reasonable attorney fees

  • Statutory damages up to $1000

  • Actual damages (charges to your phone line, or emotional distress)

IF YOU ARE BEING CONTACTED BY A DEBT COLLECTOR

 

USE CAUTION!  If you receive a call or letter from someone trying to collect money from you for a debt you are unsure of (or perhaps never even heard of), obtain all of the debt collector's contact information and information about the debt before you agree to do any payment arrangements.

TAKE NOTES!  Keep a small notebook by your phone and write down phone numbers, the times the call was received, and make notes about what was said and who said it.  You can even take photos of your phone to help document the call. You can ask questions, but don't commit to anything.

STAY CALM!  If the debt collector is harassing you, or uses offensive language, don't respond the same way.  Stay calm, take a brief note of the conversation, and call my office for a free consultation.

Call Now to See How We Can Help!
443-239-4626