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Question
Mr. Shear:

I hope you can help.  I am being called by a law office in Florida over an old credit card debt that is almost 7 years old.  They are calling every day.  They say if I don't pay they are going to sue me and take my wages.  The amount is only $480.00.  

Can they really do that?  Is this all legal?  Please help as this is very stressful!  I live in Western NY.  Thanks in advance!

Answer
Terry:

Sorry to hear about your situation.  Collection calls frequently contain deceptive threats of debt collection lawsuits violating the FDCPA.  The threat of a collection lawsuit may be deceptive because 1) it is not intended by the debt collector when the threat was made, 2) beyond the collection agency's contractual authority at the time made, 3# not as imminent as represented or 4# beyond the law firm's legal authority.

The threats this debt collector made is also deceptive if the collector had no basis to believe the creditor would do so.  In your case the collector's threats to you violate the FDCPA!  

The reason is that lack of intent to sue is most easily established where the debt collector never pursues lawsuits or never sues in the locality where the consumer lives.  Furthermore this debt collector probably does not intend suit since, if the debt is almost seven #7) years old, the suit would be time barred in NY and also the debt is very small.

Based on the above, what this collector did is illegal and in violation of the FDCPA.  Give me a call directly for assistance in this matter.

Jason A. Shear, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Admitted in NY & NJ
Law Offices of Jason A. Shear
Phone: #716) 566-8988
Website: www.jasonshearlaw.com  

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Jason Shear, Esq.

Expertise

I can answer questions for residents of New York and New Jersey regarding creditor harassment claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA); credit reporting errors under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); debt collection defense/credit card defense; student loan law; and consumer class actions. I can also answer questions relating to consumer debt defense/collection agency defense, specifically pertaining to consumers being sued or harassed by collection agencies or NY collection attorneys. If you live in New York and have been contacted or sued by firms such as: Mel Harris & Associates, Forster & Garbus, Rubin & Rothman, Choi Law Office, Lacy Katzen, Malen & Associates, Solomon & Solomon, Daniels & Norelli, Cohen & Slamowitz, Pressler & Pressler or others; give us a call at (716) 566-8988.

Experience

I have obtained settlements for consumers in NY and NJ under the FDCPA and FCRA. I have successfully defended consumers who were sued by collection agencies/debt purchasers in the New York State courts.

Organizations
National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) Law Offices of Jason Shear Consumer Attorneys 3957 Main Street, Second Floor Buffalo, New York 14226 (716) 566-8988

Education/Credentials
BA/BS, Accounting & Political Science, Hunter College. Juris Doctor, Univ. at Buffalo Law School. LLM (Criminal Law), University at Buffalo.

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