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Legal Actions by Debt Collectors (15 USC 1692i)

Legal actions by debt collectors (15 USC 1692i), or debt collection lawsuits, are not prohibited by the FDCPA. However, debt collection lawsuits against consumers can be brought only in the judicial district where the consumer resides or signed the contract, except that an action to enforce a security interest in real property which secures the obligation must be brought where the property is located. Violations of this law can make the debt collector liable to you!

  1. Waiver of rights
  2. Multiple defendants (ex-spouses)
  3. Where collectors can sue for real estate debts
  4. Where collection agents can sue for oral agreements
  5. Judgments can be enforced across State lines!
  6. Scope of section 811

1. Waiver of Rights

You can waive your rights under the FDCPA but, you must provide the waiver directly to the debt collector (not to the creditor in the contract establishing the debt), because the forum restriction applies to actions brought by the debt collector.

2. Multiple Defendants (ex-spouses)

Since a debt collector may sue only where the consumer (1) lives or (2) signed the contract, the collector may not join an ex-husband as a defendant to a suit against the ex-wife in the district of her residence, unless he also lives there or signed the contract there. The existence of community property at her residence that is available to pay his debts does not alter the forum limitations on individual consumers.

3. Real Estate Debt.

A debt collector may sue based on the location of a consumer’s real property only when he seeks to enforce an interest in such property that secures the debts.

4. Oral Agreements

Where services were provided pursuant to an oral agreement, the debt collector may sue only where the consumer resides. He may not sue where services were performed (if that is different from the consumer’s residence), because that is not included as permissible forum location by this provision.

5. Enforcement of Judgments.

If a judgment is obtained in a forum that satisfies the requirements of this section, it may be enforced in another jurisdiction, because the consumer previously has had the opportunity to defend the original action in a convenient forum.

6. Scope.

This provision applies to lawsuits brought by a debt collector, including an attorney debt collector, when the debt collector is acting on his own behalf or on behalf of his client.

If you believe you are a victim of unfair or illegal debt collection tactics, submit your information to a FREE* Fair Debt Lawyer by:

The debt collector may just be liable to you for statutory damages of to $1,000, plus any actual damages suffered, plus attorney fees!

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