The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made it clear that they will not tolerate collection agencies’ attempts to collect on time-barred debts in Pennsylvania. Recently, the FTC reached multi-million dollar settlements with several major collection agencies for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which included debt collectors pretending to be attorneys and attempting to collect debts after the statute of limitations had expired.
Debt Collection Attorneys v. Collection Agencies in PA
The FTC’s recent crackdown on collection agencies highlights some of the advantages of utilizing the services of a professional debt collection attorney over a collection agency to recover outstanding PA debts. An experienced PA debt collections attorney can make use of the Pennsylvania court system to provide creditors with effective and efficient debt collection services. Collection agencies, by contrast, are limited to just demand letters and phone calls.
According to The Huffington Post, law enforcement officials have recently observed an increasing number of complaints regarding abusive and illegal tactics employed by debt collection agencies. Last month, a major collection agency settled with the FTC for $3.1 million for violations of the FDCPA, including allegations that the debt collectors involved frequently pretended to be attorneys or to work with attorneys.
The FTC also reached a $2.5 million settlement with another collection agency, Asset Acceptance, that was accused of attempting to collect debts after the applicable statute of limitations had run out.
Statute of Limitations for Debt Collection in PA
Pennsylvania law includes various statutes of limitation, which restrict the length of time during which an aggrieved party has the right to file a legal claim. Any claim that is not filed before the applicable deadline is deemed stale and time-barred.
The statute of limitations for a breach of contract claim in PA is four years (42 Pa. C.S.A. § 5525); however, there are different statutes of limitations for different types of contracts. The statute of limitations generally begins running on the date the breach occurred, although this calculation can be extremely complex. For example, the contract itself can provide for a limitations period of less than four years, or there may be certain legal rules or exceptions that apply to a particular debt collection case. These should be discussed in detail with an experienced PA collections attorney.
Increase Your Chances of Successful Debt Collections
The longer a debt remains unpaid, the less likely it becomes to ever receive payment for it. If a debt remains unpaid, the debtor can fall further into financial distress and other creditors can enter the picture. Pennsylvania debtors can file for bankruptcy protection, relocate, close a business, or sell off valuable assets, all at the peril of the creditor who is not quick to act.
If you are facing a PA debt collection matter, you should contact an experienced PA collections attorney as soon as possible to increase your likelihood of successful collection. The Martin Law Firm is a commercial debt collection law firm dedicated to helping creditors collect unpaid invoices and bills from debtors located throughout Pennsylvania. Our experienced PA collections attorneys work diligently to take swift, aggressive action to recover money owed to our clients. We offer a free case evaluation for commercial debt collection matters. Schedule your free case evaluation with an experienced PA collections attorney today by calling The Martin Law Firm at 215-646-3980