We protect consumers and individuals against unfair trade and collection practices.
Under Section 427.104 of the Wisconsin Consumer Act, a debt collector cannot:
Illegal Auto Reposessions
Wisconsin Law also provides rights to consumers as well as lenders for automobile loans. In some cases, an automobile repossession (also known as a vehicle replevin) can take place under illegal circumstances. The “repo man” cannot threaten the consumer or take the automobile without the consumer’s consent. If the “repo man” does this, it constitutes an illegal breach of peace.
It is also illegal for a “repo man” to threaten to have the auto owner put in jail, to use profanity, to employ threats or to present himself as a law enforcement officer.
Truth in Lending Act
The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) requires the lender to disclose certain information to the consumer, particularly information about the interest rate or finance charge for the loan. The TILA requires the lender to have a borrower sign a disclosure statement which states the interest rate and cost of the transaction at the time of the closing. Further, hidden costs are prohibited by the TILA.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) defines and prohibits illegal collection actions. It is designed to regulate the actions of creditors and collection agencies to make sure that collection actions do not turn into harassment, and collectors do not engage in illegal collection activity.
If a collector violates a provision of the FDCPA, he or she may be liable for a statutory penalty of $1,000. Also, the FDCPA requires the creditor or collector to pay for the consumer’s legal fees when there is a violation. Congress put this provision in the FDCPA to enable consumers to afford legal representation.
The following is a listing of some of the main types of prohibited collection actions under the FDCPA:
A debt collector may not communicate with the consumer at unusual times or places which are known or should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. The debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8:00 am and before 9:00 pm if calling the consumer’s residence:
Fair Debt Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act sets requirements for Credit Reporting Agencies as well as creditors for maintaining accurate and up to date information on all credit reports. If you have inaccurate information on your credit report, you are entitled to have the Credit Reporting Agency review your file and request verification from any creditor reporting the information to the Agency. Under The Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer must call or write to the Agency to request correction on the report. The Agency then has 30 days to review the report and make the necessary corrections or to request verification or corrections from subscriber responsible for the credit information.
The Credit Reporting Agency can be held liable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for negligently reporting false information. Further, a consumer can maintain an action against a party that negligently or intentionally reports false or misleading information to a Credit Reporting Agency and then fails to take adequate steps to correct the information.