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When Debt Collectors Attempt to Collect a Paid Debt


North Carolina law provides generous protections for debtors against harassment, coercion, and misrepresentation by debt collectors. While there are any number of ways a debt collector can run afoul of these statutes, one of the more obvious is to attempt to collect a paid debt. Whether the debt collector is the actual creditor or a collection agency, such action violates North Carolina law. The Raleigh attorneys of Maginnis Howard can assist you with recovering actual and statutory damages as a result of such misrepresentation. To speak with an attorney regarding your debt collection violation claim, call the firm at (919) 526-0450. You may also send a confidential email regarding the facts of your case using our contact page.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-54(4), part of the North Carolina Debt Collection Act, provides that it is a violation of state law for a creditor to “falsely [represent] the character, extent, or amount of a debt against a consumer or of its status in any legal proceeding.” A similar rule is found at N.C. Gen. Stat. § 58-70-110 – a provision of the North Carolina Collection Agencies, which, as its name implies, pertains to collection agencies. These statutes render it unlawful for someone to attempt to collect a satisfied debt by representing that it was not paid. It is irrelevant whether the collector actually believe the debt is unpaid because the debt collection statutes provide a “strict liability” scheme. This means that the debtor does not need to show ill will or bad intentions.

Violation of the debt collection statutes allows a debtor to recover actual damages as well as statutory damages and attorneys’ fees. A single violation permits recovery of statutory damages of anywhere from $500 to $4,000. If several violations have taken place, you may have a significant claim against the creditor.

The debt defense attorneys of Maginnis Law handle cases involving deceptive representations on a contingency basis. That is, you only pay attorneys’ fees if we make a financial recovery on your behalf. Additionally, all consultations are provided free of charge. Our Raleigh law firm is able to handle debt defense cases for folks throughout North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem.

If you have paid a bill and a debt collector or creditor continues attempting to collect the debt, contact the Raleigh litigation attorneys of Maginnis Howard at (919) 526-0450. Alternatively, you may submit facts about your case using our firm’s contact page.