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(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, a debt collector who fails to comply with this subchapter with respect to a person is liable to the person in an amount equal to the sum of:
(1) An actual damage sustained by the person as a result of the failure;
(2) In the case of:
(A) An action by an individual, the additional damages as the court may allow not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000); or
(B) A class action:
(i) The amount each named plaintiff could recover under subdivision (a)(2)(A) of this section; and
(ii) The amount the court may allow for all other class members without regard to a minimum individual recovery not to exceed the lesser of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) or one percent (1%) of the net worth of the debt collector; and
(3)(A) In the case of a successful action to enforce the foregoing liability, the costs of the action, together with a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court.
(B) If the court finds that an action under this section was brought in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment, the court may award to the defendant attorney's fees reasonable in relation to the work expended and costs.
(b) In determining the amount of liability in an action under subsection (a) of this section, the court shall consider among other relevant factors:
(1) In an individual action under subdivision (a)(2)(A) of this section, the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of the noncompliance, and the extent to which the noncompliance was intentional; or
(2) In a class action under subdivision (a)(2)(B) of this section, the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of the noncompliance, the resources of the debt collector, the number of persons adversely affected, and the extent to which the debt collector's noncompliance was intentional.
(c) A debt collector may not be held liable in an action brought under this subchapter if the debt collector shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid the error.
(d) An action to enforce a liability created by this subchapter may be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction within one (1) year from the date on which the violation occurs.
(e) A provision of this section imposing liability shall not apply to an act done or omitted in good faith in conformity with an advisory opinion of the Federal Trade Commission addressing appropriate conduct under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692-1692p, notwithstanding that after the act or omission has occurred, the opinion is amended, rescinded, or determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for a reason.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Arkansas Code Title 17. Professions, Occupations, and Businesses § 17-24-512. Civil liability - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-17-professions-occupations-and-businesses/ar-code-sect-17-24-512/
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