How does one quantify damages from receiving a letter in the mail from a CA without the CA having validated? I am genuinely curious to know how that aspect of FDCPA claims are handled.
Technically, I called them to find out why they wrote me this letter. We discussed on the phone the fact that I had previously disputed their allegations. The phone rep wasn't interested in doing much but reading their scripts and further attempting to collect.
My understanding from a quick reading of Nolo is that these violations are statutory damages. Violation of the statute itself is sufficient to collect damages. Quantifying things like emotional distress or physical damages (from stress-related health issues that can be connected to the violations) is separate and additional to statutory damages.
Statutory Damages of $1,000
Above and beyond what the consumer might collect for losses related to lost wages, psychological distress, and the like, the FDCPA allows a consumer to recover damages up to $1,000 from the collector. Because the FDCPA says that the consumer can recover “up to $1,000,” the amount awarded could be less.
The court can award these damages if the consumer proves the collector violated the FDCPA, but the consumer does not have to prove that the violation caused any harm. This $1,000 is per lawsuit—not per violation—so if the creditor violates the FDCPA once or multiple times, the consumer still only collects up to $1,000."
Interested to get thoughts on the following scenario I am experimenting with:
I receive dunning letter from collection agency.
I use a third-party company faxing service to send DV letter via fax knowing agency will ignore it. I do this twice over the course of the first three weeks of the 30-day response period to allow them to call repeatedly and engage me on the phone a number of times. I'm difficult for them to handle on the phone so they actually stop calling me.
I sent certified letter disputing validity of debt on week three. CA sends me a second letter attempting to collect on debt around same time which crosses in the mail.
I wait again until the certified letter has been received from their office. I call CA in response to their 2nd letter "to find out why you sent me this letter". They attempt to collect the alleged debt about 10 times throughout the course of the phone call.
Question: do their verbal attempts to collect on the alleged debt, without having yet verified it in response to my certified letter, constitute violations of FDCPA despite the fact that I called them? (versus them calling me). I imagine they should but would be interested in anyone's experience on this.