Flickr photo by alancleaver_2000Last week, the Supreme Court made it easier for you to protect yourself against collection agencies by ruling that debt collectors can't use a "bona fide error" defense to avoid being sued for misinterpreting the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
This means that if a debt collection agency makes a demand that violates the law, it can't say it made a mistake in interpreting it. If it does, you can sue.
Collection agencies don't like the ruling. Surprise, surprise. They say the FDCPA contains vague language that can be misinterpreted. They also don't like being sued. And that's what companies like Debtorboards.com do.
Steven Katz, a former bill collector who started Debtorboards.com, is known as a "credit terrorist" among debt collectors. His site teaches consumers how to use the law to protect themselves against harassment, unscrupulous practices, and violations of the FDCPA by collection agencies.
But in a New York Times article, debt collectors say websites like Debtorboards.com really teach people how to abuse the law and avoid paying debt they legitimately owe. I guess they can tell it to the judge.