A single lawsuit, even for a minor technical violation of the FDCPA, can cost an agency $5,000 to settle - and that may not include several thousand dollars paid to the agency's attorneys to investigate and initially defend the lawsuit. More complicated cases, with allegations of emotional distress and actual damages, may cost an agency upwards of $60,000 to resolve or litigate. The typical class action could easily reach in excess of $100,000 when all is said and done.Credit reporting a delinquent account is one of the most powerful collection tools available to an agency. However, it comes with many pitfalls for the unwary. FCRA cases result in higher settlements and higher jury verdicts because, unlike most FDCPA cases, FCRA cases are accompanied by allegations of significant credit harm stemming from the violation. Although plain tiffs can claim emotional distress for receiving a harassing phone call, for example, FCRA plaintiffs could claim that as a result of the violation, they had to pay 1 percent more on a $300,000 home mortgage for 30 years - and those numbers add up.How do you defend that suit? The collector doesn't speak to anyone that way, but the collector has no specific recollection of ever speaking to that consumer. In a he-said/she-said scenario, the agency is not going to be able to get the litigation dismissed by a judge who will not substitute her judgment for the jury. This case is on a sure course for a trial before eight jurors who probably have a poor opinion of collection agencies already. On the advice of counsel, you settle for $8,000 because it's cheaper to have the case go away then to press your case to conclusion before a jury and end up paying $4,000 to the plaintiff and $30,000 to her lawyer.