The Role of a FDCPA Expert Witness
When a consumer defaults on a loan, credit card or other debt it’s not uncommon for the original creditor or service provider to outsource the collection of such a debt to an outside party referred to as a 3 rd party debt collector. These debt collectors are more commonly referred to as collection agencies. And generally, consumers don’t have pleasant things to say about collection agencies.
Despite the collection industry’s generally poor reputation, these companies serve a very important purpose, which is to recover monies that are rightfully due and owing. There are also strict Federal and state laws that define how these debt collectors must operate. One of these statutes is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA.
FDCPA lawsuits are similarly common as FCRA lawsuits given they both tend to touch credit reporting, credit scoring and potentially credit damages. And, like FCRA litigation, collection agency related litigation often leads to the need for an FDCPA expert witness. FDCPA expert witnesses are often asked to opine about the practices of a 3rd party debt collector and the potential impact of the collection agency account on a consumer’s credit reports and credit scores.
One of the challenges FDCPA expert witnesses face, more so when they’re on the Plaintiff’s side of the dispute, is to isolate the impact or potential impact of the collection account. The reason it’s difficult to measure the impact of a collection is because most consumers who have one collection have other unrelated derogatory items, such as other collections or record of defaulted debts.
It’s possible for an FDCPA expert witness to perform a credit score impact analysis and quantify the true impact of a collection account. And, in many cases that analysis will prove that the collection had no impact on a consumer’s score, at all. These impact analyses are more often used by FDCPA expert witnesses who are retained on behalf of a collection agency as a way to undercut the alleged negative impact of their credit reporting.
There are two types of FDCPA experts:
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