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Falls Collection Service Debt Collector Relief: Your Rights and Options

What is Falls Collection Service?

Falls Collection Service is a debt collection agency; they buy unpaid debts from creditors and attempt to collect on those debts. Unfortunately, many consumers report aggressive and abusive tactics from Falls collectors – things like incessant calls, threats, and harassment. If you’re being hounded by Falls over an old debt, know that you have rights under federal law.

Your Rights Under the FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, deceptive, or unfair practices to collect a debt. Some key protections include:

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  • Debt collectors can’t call you before 8am or after 9pm
  • They can’t use profane language or threaten violence
  • They must identify themselves as debt collectors on calls
  • They can’t discuss your debt with others without permission
  • They can’t misrepresent the amount you owe

If Falls Collection Service violates the FDCPA, you may be able to sue them in federal court. Potential damages include up to $1,000 plus attorney fees and court costs.

How to Stop Harassment from Falls

The first step is to send Falls a debt validation letter within 30 days of their first contact. This forces them to provide evidence that you actually owe the debt. Many debts get revived improperly, so make them prove it.You can also send a cease and desist letter telling Falls to stop all further contact. By law, they must then only contact you one more time to confirm they’re ceasing communication or to notify you of legal action.“If the harassment continues after sending those letters, that’s a clear FDCPA violation,” says Todd Spodek, a federal defense lawyer. “At that point, I’d recommend speaking to a consumer lawyer about suing Falls for damages.”

Negotiating With Falls Collection Service

Even if Falls follows the rules, you may want to try negotiating a settlement for less than the full amount. Debt buyers like Falls often purchase debts for pennies on the dollar, so they have room to settle.“I always advise clients to get any settlement agreement in writing before paying a cent,” Spodek cautions. Otherwise, Falls could take your money and still come after you for the rest.”You can negotiate yourself or hire a debt settlement firm to handle it. Just beware of their fees – some charge over 20% of what you saved.

Statute of Limitations on Old Debts

In many states, there’s a time limit for how long a creditor can sue you over an unpaid debt. This is called the statute of limitations, and it ranges from 3-10 years depending on the state and type of debt.If the debt is past the statute of limitations, Falls can still try to collect, but they can’t take you to court over it. So you may want to inform them in writing that the debt is too old, and they need to stop contacting you about it.“The statute of limitations is an absolute defense against being sued,” Spodek explains. “But it gets tricky if you make a payment or acknowledge the debt in any way, which can restart the clock.”

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Disputing the Debt on Your Credit Report

Even if a debt is legitimately yours, you may be able to get it removed from your credit report by disputing it with the three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). The bureaus are required to investigate your dispute.“If Falls can’t validate the debt with proper documentation, the credit bureaus have to delete it from your report,” says Spodek. “That can help your credit score tremendously.”You can find sample debt validation and dispute letters online at sites like the CFPB and Reddit’s personal finance community.

When to Hire a Lawyer for Falls Collection Service

For many consumers, self-help remedies like sending debt validation letters are enough to get Falls to back off or agree to a reasonable settlement. But in some cases, you may need to hire a consumer lawyer who specializes in debt collection harassment and FDCPA violations.“If Falls is blatantly violating the law – like calling your job, family members, or making explicit threats – that’s when you’ll want legal representation,” Spodek advises. “A good consumer lawyer can sue Falls for damages and put a stop to the abuse.”Spodek recommends looking for lawyers with plenty of FDCPA case experience on sites like AvvoLawInfo, and FindLaw. Many offer free consultations.

Bankruptcy as a Last Resort

If your debt situation is overwhelming and you’ve exhausted all other options, bankruptcy may be a path worth considering. It allows you to discharge (wipe out) certain types of debts and get creditors like Falls off your back for good.“Bankruptcy has a major negative impact on your credit, so it should only be used as an absolute last resort,” Spodek cautions. “But for some consumers struggling with insurmountable debt, it can provide a fresh start.”There are two main types of consumer bankruptcy – Chapter 7 liquidation and Chapter 13 reorganization. You’ll need to pass a means test to qualify for Chapter 7. Chapter 13 involves a court-approved repayment plan over 3-5 years.

Key Takeaways on Falls Collection Service

  • Know your rights under the FDCPA – debt collectors can’t harass or deceive you
  • Send debt validation and cease letters to Falls to stop harassment
  • Try negotiating to settle old debts for less than the full amount
  • Dispute questionable debts on your credit report
  • Hire a consumer lawyer if Falls violates the FDCPA
  • Bankruptcy is an option for insurmountable debt, but has major credit impacts

“The most important thing is to not ignore debt collectors like Falls,” Spodek says. “That will only make the situation worse. Understand your rights, use the laws to your advantage, and if needed, don’t hesitate to get professional legal help.”For more debt collection advice and resources, check out sites like the CFPBNolo, and Reddit’s personal finance community.

Statute of Limitations

One key concept to understand when dealing with old debts from collectors like Falls is the statute of limitations. This is the time period set by state law that limits how long a creditor can sue you over an unpaid debt.The statute of limitations varies depending on the state and type of debt, but it’s typically between 3-6 years for most consumer debts like credit cards, medical bills, etc. Some states have longer statutes for certain debt types.If the debt is past the statute of limitations in your state, Falls can still try to collect on it through calls and letters. However, they legally cannot take you to court over that debt – it’s considered “time-barred.”So in that situation, you have a couple options:

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  1. Send Falls a letter stating that the debt is past the statute of limitations in your state, and demand that they stop all further collection efforts. By law, they must comply.
  2. Simply ignore Falls’ attempts to collect on a time-barred debt. They can’t garnish wages or take other legal action.

“The statute of limitations provides an absolute legal defense against being sued over an old debt,” Spodek explains. “As long as you don’t make any payments or acknowledge the debt in writing, which could revive the statute, Falls is out of luck.”However, it’s important to note that making any payment on that old debt, even just a small “good faith” payment, can restart the clock on the statute of limitations. So be very careful about that.You can find your state’s statute of limitations for different debt types on sites like Nolo and Bankrate. The Reddit personal finance wiki also has some good info.

Restarting the Statute

As mentioned, if you make any payment toward an old debt, even just a small “good faith” payment, it can legally restart the clock on the statute of limitations. This is called “re-aging” the debt.So let’s say the statute of limitations is 4 years for credit card debt in your state. If you made your last payment on that debt 5 years ago, it would normally be considered time-barred and Falls couldn’t sue you over it.But if you then made even a $25 payment toward that old debt, it could legally restart the 4-year statute of limitations from the date of that payment. Which would give Falls a new window to potentially take you to court.“Restarting the statute is one of the biggest traps consumers fall into with old debts,” Spodek warns. “The debt collector will often try to convince you to make a small payment as a ‘good faith’ gesture. But really, it just resets the clock so they can keep pursuing and potentially suing you.”In addition to making a payment, simply acknowledging the debt as yours in writing can also restart the statute in some states. So be very careful about that as well when corresponding with debt collectors.The safest approach is to simply not make any payments at all on debts that are past the statute of limitations in your state. You can find that statute period for different debt types at Nolo and other reputable legal sites.

Debt Validation

One of the most powerful tools consumers have when dealing with debt collectors like Falls Collection Service is the debt validation process under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).Within 30 days of a debt collector’s first communication with you about a debt, you can send them a debt validation letter. This letter requires the collector to provide solid evidence and documentation proving that:

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  1. You are the person who actually owes the debt
  2. The amount they are trying to collect is correct
  3. They have the legal authority to collect on that debt

“You’d be surprised how often debt collectors lack the proper documentation and paperwork trail to validate a debt,” says Spodek. “Especially when it’s an older debt that has been sold and resold multiple times.”If Falls (or any collector) can’t validate the debt by providing things like the original creditor agreement, account statements, and chain of title showing debt ownership – then they have to cease all collection efforts on that debt. It’s an FDCPA violation to keep pursuing an unvalidated debt.You can find sample debt validation letter templates online at sites like the CFPBNolo, and Reddit.It’s recommended to send the letter via certified mail with return receipt, so you have proof Falls received it. Then the 30-day validation period is triggered.If Falls fails to validate after 30 days, you can send them a cease and desist letter demanding they stop all further communication about that debt. They are legally required to comply, with a few exceptions like notifying you of intended legal action.“The debt validation process is incredibly powerful for consumers, but most people don’t even know about it,” Spodek says. “Any debt collector who can’t validate what they’re trying to collect is operating on very shaky legal ground.”

Disputing Debts on Credit Reports

In addition to forcing debt validation from the collector, you can also dispute questionable debts directly with the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit bureaus to investigate any disputes from consumers about items on their credit reports. This includes any collections accounts listed by agencies like Falls.“If Falls can’t validate the debt with proper documentation when the bureaus investigate, then the bureaus have to remove that collection account from your credit report entirely,” Spodek explains.Having collections accounts removed from your credit can provide an immediate boost to your credit score. It’s one of the fastest ways to improve your credit if you’ve been weighed down by questionable or inaccurate collections.You can find sample credit bureau dispute letter templates at sites like Credit.com and Debt.org. The FTC website also has a good guide.It’s recommended to send dispute letters via certified mail to each credit bureau you need to dispute with. Be sure to include supporting documentation like debt validation letters and any evidence the debt is inaccurate or already paid.If the credit bureaus don’t respond to your dispute within 30 days, or their investigation is unreasonable, you may have grounds to sue them under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This is another situation where hiring a consumer lawyer could make sense.

Hiring a Lawyer for Falls Debt Collection

For many consumers dealing with Falls Collection Service or other debt collectors, self-help remedies like sending debt validation letters and credit disputes may be enough to resolve the situation.However, there are some scenarios where hiring a licensed consumer lawyer is advisable – especially if Falls has repeatedly violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act through harassment, deception, or illegal threats.“If a debt collector like Falls is blatantly breaking the law – like calling your workplace, family members, or making explicit threats of arrest or violence – that’s when you need to get a consumer attorney involved,” Spodek advises.Some other situations where a lawyer may be warranted:

  • Falls refuses to validate the debt after multiple requests
  • They continue aggressive collection efforts on time-barred debts
  • They file an improper lawsuit over the debt
  • You’re facing garnished wages, bank levies, or other legal actions

A qualified consumer lawyer can take several actions, including:

  • Sending a cease and desist letter on your behalf demanding Falls stop all illegal conduct
  • Suing Falls in federal court for FDCPA violations and damages
  • Defending you against any improper lawsuits or legal actions over the debt
  • Negotiating to settle the debt for a reasonable amount
  • Repairing any damage to your credit report from improper collections

“The FDCPA allows consumers to recover up to $1,000 in statutory damages per violation, plus attorney fees and court costs,” Spodek notes. “So in many cases, the debt collector ends up paying your legal bills.”You can find consumer lawyers who specialize in FDCPA and debt collection harassment cases on sites like:

Many offer free initial consultations to review your situation. Look for attorneys with specific experience suing debt collectors and proven wins under the FDCPA.“An experienced consumer lawyer can make all the difference in putting an end to abusive debt collection practices,” says Spodek. “Don’t just suffer in silence – know your rights and be willing to take legal action if needed.”

Negotiating Debt Settlements

If the debt Falls Collection Service is trying to collect does turn out to be legitimate, you may want to attempt negotiating a settlement for less than the full balance. Debt buyers like Falls often purchase debts for pennies on the dollar, so they have room to accept a reduced lump sum payment and still profit.

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