How to Sue Your Creditors in Small Claims Court
Written by: Kristy Welsh
Last Updated: September 8, 2017
Did you know you can sue a creditor or a credit bureau for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act? Violations happen all the time to unsuspecting consumers who don't have a clue as to what their rights are — let alone that they can sue someone for these violations.
Consumers are being hurt all the time by the carelessness of creditors and unethical practices of collection agencies and credit bureaus. By pointing out these violations, you can make them back down and remove negative entries. You can fight back! The law specifically allows you can take these people to court and win money. Wouldn't you like to use the money you win from your creditors to pay off your debts?
Suing a Creditor or Credit Bureau in Small Claims Court
Most companies are not going to change their ways unless it is in their best interest to do so. All of these companies have stockholders to report to, so if one of their practices is costing them a better bottom line, you better believe they will act to change their ways. One of these ways is for you the consumer, to take action legally against these companies when your rights have been violated.
Each violation can be a $1,000 fine, so it's money in your pocket. In addition, you are going to help make someone else's life better by suing someone who has broken the law. If everyone took action when their rights were violated, the credit bureaus would lose a fortune in legal disputes. It's time to protect your rights as a consumer as well as protecting the rights of your fellow United States citizens.
Who Can You Sue and What Can You Sue For?
|Creditors, if they report your credit history inaccurately.||Defamation, financial injury||US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, No. 00-15946, Nelson vs. Chase Manhattan||Extent of damages incurred by the wronged party as deemed by the courts.|
|Creditors, if you dispute a debt, and they fail to report it as disputed to the credit bureaus.||Protection under the FCRA||FCRA Section 623||$1,000|
|Creditors, if they pull your credit file without permissible purpose.||Injury to your credit report and credit score||FCRA Section 604(A)(3)||$1,000|
|Credit bureaus, if they refuse to correct information after being provided proof.||Defamation, willful injury||FCRA Section 623
CUSHMAN, v. TRANS UNION CORPORATION US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court Case 115 F.3d 220
June 9, 1997, Filed (D.C. No. 95-cv-01743).
|Extent of damages incurred by the wronged party, as deemed by the courts.|
|Credit bureaus, if they reinsert a removed item from your credit report without notifying you in writing within 5 business days.||Consumer protection afforded by the FCRA||FCRA Part (A)(5)(B)(ii)||$1,000|
|Credit bureaus, if they fail to respond to your written disputes within 30 days (a 15 day extension may be granted if they receive information from the creditor within the first 30 days).||Consumer protection afforded by the FCRA||FCRA Section 611 Part (A)(1)||$1,000|
|Collection agency, can NOT be BOTH purchaser and assignee - it's one or the other||Protection under the FDCPA||Gearing v. Check Brokerage Corp
233 F.3d 469 (7th Cir. 2000)
|Misrepresentations by the collector about themselves or the debt are actionable regardless of intent.||Protection under the FDCPA||Gearing v. Check Brokerage Corp
Cacace v. Lucas, 775 F. Supp. 502, 505 (D. Conn. 1990)
|Creditors, collection agencies, or credit bureaus, if they try and "Re-Age" your account by updating the date of last activity on your credit report in the hopes of keeping negative information on your account longer.||Consumer protection afforded by the FCRA||FCRA Section 605(c)||$1,000|
|Collection agency, if they fail to report a disputed debt to the credit bureaus.||Protection under the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 807(8)||$1,000|
|Collection agency, if they do not validate your debt yet continue to pursue collection activity by filing for a judgment, call or write you.||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 809(b), FTC opinion letter Cass from LeFevre .||$1,000|
|Collection agency, if you have sent them a cease and desist letter and they still call you.||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 805(c)||$1,000|
|Collection agency, if they have not validated your debt and they still continue to report to the credit bureaus.||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 809(b) FTC opinion letter Cass from LeFevre||$1,000|
|Collection agency, if they:
||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 808||$1,000|
|Collector, if they call you after 9 PM at night or before 8 AM.||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 805(a)(1)||$1,000|
|Collector, if they call you at work.||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 805(a)(3)||$1,000|
|Collector, if they call any third part about your debt like friends, neighbors, relatives, etc. They can contact your attorney, a consumer reporting agency, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 805(b)||$1,000|
|Collection agency, if they use any kind of harassment or abuse**||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 806||$1,000|
|Collector cannot claim to garnish your wages, seize property or have you arrested ***||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 807||$1,000|
|Collector must be in the county in which you lived when you signed the original contract for the debt or where you live at the time when they file the lawsuit.||Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA||FDCPA Section 811(a)(2)||$1,000|
** (1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person. (2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader. (3) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting (4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt. (5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number. (6) Placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity.
***If the collection agency get a judgment against you, then they will be able to garnish your wages and seize property, but until that time, no.