Toledo, OH asked in Consumer Law for Ohio

Q: Can I sue a car dealership for keep calling me and sending me emails trying to get payment for a car I don't have?

I told them in a phone call to take it to court and stop contacting me. They still keep calling me and sending me emails. I tried to kill myself and was taken to the mental hospital because they won't leave me alone.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nicholas P. Weiss
Nicholas P. Weiss
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Cleveland Heights, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: The car dealer is likely violating Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act (OCSPA) for calling you after you've asked them to stop. They would be liable for damages for this.

There are two main types of collection calls: 1. those from an original creditor, and 2. those from a third party debt collector. They could be identical in the harassing or deceptive nature of each, but you may not have a viable remedy if the call comes from the original collector.

In order for the FDCPA to apply to a harassing or deceptive call, it must come from a third party collector. If the call comes from the original creditor, then your only remedy may fall under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (OCSPA).

The OCSPA attempts to fill the gap left by the FDCPA with regard to original creditors; however, the OCSPA then immediately exempts most entities, such as financial institutions, that are attempting to collect debt. Thus, as a gap filler, the OCSPA has left a lot to be desired.

The following are common tactics a collector might use that normally would be considered violations of the FDCPA or OCSPA:

Using profane language,

Threatening you with physical violence if you do not pay the debt,

Threatening to call your friends and family about the debt,

Threatening to arrest you or bring a lawsuit when they either do not have the power to do so, or simply do not actually contemplate this action,

Calling you after you have demanded they cease all communication with you.

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