Debt Collection Defense Attorneys in Seattle
Protecting You from Collection Agencies in Washington State
If you’re struggling with overwhelming debt, paying your bills may not be your only concern. You could be facing constant calls from collection agencies or even lawsuits that threaten your property ownership and the wages you rightfully earned. In some cases, agencies may take you to court for debt that is no longer valid—or for debt that was never yours to pay.
There are a number of debt collection behaviors that are prohibited under the law. If you are facing harassment from a creditor or debt collector, you have rights that deserve to be protected. You even have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the debt collector or collection agency for the harassing behavior.
We help with consumer defenses to debt buyer and creditor collection lawsuits on:
- Credit card
- Student loans
- And other consumer debts
The goal may be to get collection actions dismissed entirely or the amount owed reduced so that a settlement can be obtained.
At Henry & DeGraaff, we can fully explain your rights as a borrower and determine whether collection agencies have violated those rights. We have a track record of successfully defending clients and filing affirmative claims against creditors, lenders, and debt collectors who have broken consumer protection laws, and we are fully prepared to apply this experience to your case.
What Is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
One of the most common acts employed in debt collection defense is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
This act prohibits debt collectors from using:
- Or other unfair practices when collecting debt from consumers
The FDCPA offers several defenses against debt collectors, including:
- Attempting to collect time-barred debt (i.e. debt that is older than the statute of limitations and therefore uncollectible)
- Misrepresentations about the amount owed
- Filing a lawsuit for a debt that is not owed
- Failing to prove that the consumer owed the debt
What Is the Washington State Consumer Protection Act?
Another law that may apply to your case is the Washington State Consumer Protection Act. This legislation protects individuals from a broad range of unfair and deceptive tactics in trade and commerce in Washington state.
This law covers any commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of the state of Washington, which includes debt collection.
Collection agencies are also licensed and required to follow the Collection Agency Act, which is enforced through the Washington Consumer Protection Act.
Some debt collectors, for instance, may:
- Purposefully withhold information or confuse the consumer about which entity owns the debt
- Unlawfully assess additional fees, claiming that these fees were included in the debt that the collector bought from the original creditor
- Refuse to inform the consumer of certain repayment options or assistance for which they may qualify
- Assess interest on unliquidated debt (e.g. medical debt) or assess interest in a way that prevents the consumer from avoiding it
From breach of contract to negligent misrepresentation, many different missteps and tactics can allow consumers to bring claims against collection agencies.
As such, we urge you to bring your case to Henry & DeGraaff as soon as possible so we can assess whether you have a viable claim. If so, we can handle the litigation process with urgency and care.
Experienced, Creative & Sophisticated
With years of experience between our attorneys, our goal is to deliver a higher level of service, only taking cases where we can add value.
We understand that no two cases are ever the same. We provide tailored solutions for every client and strategize in order to provide optimal results.
As a law firm that focuses on creative and collaborative solutions, we always seek opportunities that go even beyond the law to help provide the results you deserve.
Our ability to tackle complex issues has allowed us to win appellate decisions and push the law in our clients' favor. We pursue compensation arrangements that reward success.
Unfortunately, many people wait to seek legal support until they are being blatantly harassed by debt collectors. But the laws that agencies must follow are highly complex, and our attorneys work tirelessly to expose violations and ensure our clients receive the outcome they deserve.
By utilizing all the consumer protection laws that apply to your case, we may be able to obtain compensation for court costs and attorney’s fees, damaged credit, financial hardship, emotional distress, and more. We are one of the few law firms that provides litigation services for debt-related matters, and we will not hesitate to fight for your future in a court of law.
In some cases, bankruptcy may be the only way to keep debt collectors at bay. However, our team will not recommend bankruptcy until we have exhausted all other options. We will assess your case with unfailing attention to detail to determine whether you may be able to bring a claim against a collection agency. If this is not an option, and you are struggling with unmanageable debt, we can help you file bankruptcy as efficiently and effectively as possible.
It is my belief that we came out way ahead of the game but we owe the success to Jacob.- Kim & Mike
5 stars are not enough.- Joe
Jacob successfully took over our Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.- Jerry
Jacob was always focused on our needs and desires concerning our real estate.- Previous Client
If you need their services don't hesitate to give them a call.- Reese H.