(a) Any collection agency which violates Part 3 of this Article with respect to any debtor shall be liable to that debtor in an amount equal to the sum of any actual damages sustained by the debtor as a result of the violation.
(b) Any collection agency which violates Part 3 of this Article with respect to any debtor shall, in addition to actual damages sustained by the debtor as a result of the violation, also be liable to the debtor for a penalty in such amount as the court may allow, which shall not be less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each violation nor greater than four thousand dollars ($4,000) for each violation.
(c) The specific and general provisions of Part 3 of this Article shall constitute unfair or deceptive acts or practices proscribed herein or by G.S. 75-1.1 in the area of commerce regulated thereby; provided, however, that, notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 75-16, the civil penalties provided in this section shall not be trebled. Civil penalties in excess of four thousand dollars ($4,000) for each violation shall not be imposed.
(d) The remedies provided by this section shall be cumulative, and in addition to remedies otherwise available. Any punitive damages assessed against a collection agency shall not be reduced by the amount of the civil penalty assessed against such agency pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(e) The clear proceeds of civil penalties imposed under this section in suits instituted by the Attorney General shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2. (1979, c. 835; 1991, c. 68, s. 2; 1998-215, s. 89(a); 2009-573, s. 6.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014