The oldest legal approach to debt collection abuse is an action in tort. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to a tort approach to abusive debt collection conduct. One major advantage of tort claims in many states is the availability of punitive or exemplary damages for tortious conduct that is malicious or reckless.
The major disadvantage of tort claims is that many states require the debt collectors conduct to be considerably more offensive than is required under consumer protection statutes. The appropriateness of a class action will depend on the nature of the challenged conduct.
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