FDCPA Attorney Fees

Last Updated: Nov 20, 2022

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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a Federal law that protects consumers from being harassed by debt collectors. If you are being harassed by a debt collector, you can report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or take legal action against them.

If you decide to sue the collector and win, the debt collector who is found guilty of breaching your rights in terms of the FDCPA could be liable to pay up to $1,000 in statutory damages. You are also likely to have the fees charged by an attorney to represent you included in your damages.

Having an attorney could increase your chances of winning the case and get compensation for financial losses and other damages.

What Do FDCPA Attorney’s Fees And Costs Consist Of?

Each attorney or firm will have its own schedule of fees.  You could be charged a:

Contingency fee

Usually a percentage of the final amount awarded to you by a Judge if you win a part or whole of a case

Flat fee

A fee that is charged for all work related to your case.  The amount is fixed and payable whether you win or lose the case.

Hourly fee

A rate charged for every hour spent on your case.  The rate could be different depending on the type of work done, for example drafting legal documents and representing you in court.

Cost Awards

The FDCPA’s costs provision allows a court to award “attorney’s fees reasonable in relation to the work expended and costs”. If a judge finds in favor of your case, there will usually be a cost order against the defendant including the costs of the action, and attorney’s fees based on what the court finds reasonable.

Sometimes a judge might make an order that reduces the fees charged by the attorney, especially if the court finds that the attorney was not fully successful in representing the case.

These cost awards are very important to make it affordable for people to take legal action against unscrupulous debt collectors.

Bottom Line

Debt collectors are often reported for abusive behavior.  Consumers can seek relief from a court. If you win your case, you will be entitled to claim legal expenses in addition to other financial, emotional, and punitive damages.

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