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Many violations of debt collection laws and telecommunications laws are also violations of Federal or New York State criminal laws.

In cases of serious misconduct, we refer the creditor or debt collector to federal or state authorities for criminal prosecution, in addition to suing them.

Violation of any federal, New York State or local criminal law is also a violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, for which you may recover up to $1,000 or your actual damages, plus attorneys fees and court costs.


The federal mail fraud statute prohibits deceitful statements, half-truths, and concealment of material facts. It could apply to a debt collector who uses the mails to fraudulently collect a debt.

The federal laws against wire fraud and internet fraud are similar to the law against mail fraud except that the offenses are committed by telephone or internet.

Harassing Telephone Calls:
Under the Federal Communications Act of 1934, a person may be fined up to $50,000 or imprisoned for up to six months, or both, if he or she calls another and:

• Causes a telephone to ring repeatedly, with the intent to harass;

• Makes repeated phone calls solely to harass;

• Permits a telephone under his or her control to be used for any of the above purposes.


It is a violation of New York State Criminal Law to:

• Present as authentic a document, such as a letter, which appears to be an official government document but is not.

• Engage in extortion or coercion (also known as “black-mail”), which means wrongfully using fear to obtain your consent to take your property. Attempting to induce fear by making any of the following threats is a criminal offense:
  • to commit unlawful injury to you or another person;

  • to have another person injure you or another person;

  • to make a criminal accusation against you, even if it is true;

  • to expose or impute to you, or any of your relatives, a deformity, disgrace or crime;

  • to expose a person’s criminal record;

  • to expose a secret affecting you or any of your relatives
• Make telephone calls with intent to annoy or harass a person

• Use obscene language

• Listen to or record telephone conversations without proper authorization

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