Each case is unique, and you really should get a free consultation with a FDCPA lawyer to learn what you may qualify for. But for general informational purposes, there are typically 4 types of monetary awards available for debt collector harassment victims. Under the FDCPA, you are entitled to:
- Statutory damages – $1,000 for each violation
- Actual, out-of-pocket losses – loss of job, income, time off from a job, attorney’s fees incurred defending a prior suit, medical expenses, bank fees, etc.
- Actual damages – compensation for lost sleep, stress, stress-related illnesses arising from financial troubles, emotional distress, injury to reputation, nausea, loss of concentration, aggravation, and many other symptoms caused or aggravated by debt collector harassment.
- Punitive damages – available when the debt collector’s harassment is egregious. Willful misconduct or recklessness is required. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the debt collector, and can reach in the millions. The largest punitive damage awarded in a debt collection harassment case so far was $10 million dollars.
- Attorney’s fees – consumer laws allow you to force the debt collector to pay your attorney’s fees for you, so you can have a consumer lawyer represent you at no cost to you.