Colorado Springs woman wins lawsuit against debt collector

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COLORADO SPRINGS – Financial challenges have gone hand in hand with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a growing number of complaints about high-pressure phone calls from debt collectors. News5 breaks down the case of a Colorado Springs woman who legal experts said was a victory in rejecting those appeals.

According to government officials, medical debt is the number one reason debt collectors contact people in our country, accounting for more than half of those collection calls.

News5 uncovered court documents showing a Colorado Springs woman recently won a lawsuit against a medical debt collection company after the Denver federal appeals court agreed the company violated the Personal Protection Act. consumers by contacting her after asking in writing that she wanted the calls to stop.

Colorado Springs resident Elizabeth Lupia formally disputed her medical debt after a 2017 proceeding and requested in writing that the debt collection company stop calling her, but before the company processed this letter, she requested it in writing. recalled. This led to a lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

“They received a cease and desist letter to stop calling this woman. They didn’t,” said Stephen Longo, a local legal expert and head of The Longo Firm. “And even though it was only one day and one appeal, they had no set policy or procedure to make sure that didn’t happen and because of that, the court ruled in her favor.”

He says that when it comes to dealing with unwanted contacts from debt collectors, consumers can learn some things from this woman’s case.

“The first thing you need to do is dispute the debt. I don’t think I owe this money. I challenge the debt,” Longo said. “Second, what she did that is just as important is she said ‘stop’. Cas.”

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said harassing calls from debt collectors were a common complaint with his office, especially when it came to medical debts.

“Nearly one in five Americans currently has medical debt that is in collection,” Weiser said. “So one in five Americans is in this position where there is a debt collector trying to collect money for a medical debt.”

According to the National Consumer Law Center, approximately 70 million people have a bill in collection at any given time. That’s nearly one in four American adults. It is estimated that 18 million Americans have more than one invoice in collection, which sets them up for multiple contacts per day with multiple collectors.

“File a complaint with us. This is on our website under Credit and Debt Complaints. We are here to help the people of Colorado so that they are not harassed and abused by these debt collectors,” he said. Weiser said.

We first reported on the challenges surrounding aggressive debt collectors in April and will continue to follow this story.

There are situations where debt collectors can even contact you through social media right now.

So what do you do if you are contacted, or in some cases harassed by debt collectors?

– Get them to check the debt. Make sure you actually owe the money.

– Opt out. Request in writing that you no longer wish to be contacted.

– Contact your original creditor and see if you can negotiate a payment plan, or even pay back a little less than you owe.

– If you are feeling overwhelmed, it may be time to seek legal help to make sure you are treated fairly.

Debt collection will negatively impact your credit score and can potentially impact you for a number of years. Experts advise paying off this debt as quickly as possible by setting up a payment plan that fits your budget.


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