What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a Federal Law enacted in 1977.  Congress enacted the Act after growing evidence that Debt collectors were using abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection techniques.  Congress also recognized that the laws before the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed were inadequate, inconsistent and that consumers were suffering.  Additionally, Congress  recognized that the elimination of these practices would not hinder the effective collection of debt.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulates third party debt collectors and attorneys who regularly collect debt.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted to collection agencies from harassing consumers while collecting debts.    The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act doesn’t support the nonpayment of debt; it simply states that while you are attempting to get your finances in order so that you can pay you shouldn’t be treated inhumanly.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Prohibits Certain Third Party Communications.

To answer the question “What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?” we need to first review its prohibits on third party communications.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has prohibitions on certain third party communications.  The statute states that debt collectors are never allowed to contact any of your friends or family members.  The exception to this provision permits debt collectors to contact third parties only if they don’t know how to get a hold of you.  However, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they are only allowed to call each person once and they are never allowed to disclose to third parties that you owe a debt!

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Prohibits Unwanted Calls at work!

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also has clear restrictions on debt collectors contacting consumers at work.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from calling you at work when either they know, or have reason to know, that your employer does not allow you to receive personal calls or that the you don’t want to be contacted at work.  So, if you are getting calls at your place of employment by a third party debt collector, tell the debt collector to stop calling you at work.  Alternatively, if you are getting calls by third party debt collectors at your residence or on your cellular phone and are afraid they are going to start calling you at work – tell them not to never call you at your place of employment.

If after telling the debt collector not to call you at work, if they do, they have violated the FDCPA and you have the right to sue for damages.  The rationale behind the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s prohibition on work place telephone calls is simple; if you’re getting calls at work when you’re not allowed to you will likely get fired.  If you get fired you can’t pay your debts.  As such, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits work place telephone calls if you notify the third party debt collector that you are prohibited from receiving them or if you simply don’t want to be contacted at work.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Prohibitions against Idle Threats

To find out what is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you must also be aware of its The Fair prohibitions on debt collectors threatening any action against you that they are not permitted to take or that the collection agency don’t intend to take.  Similarly, debt collectors are not allowed to threaten you with action they don’t intend to take.  An example of this is threatening to refer your debt to an attorney, sue you, seek garnishment of your wages, etc. if they don’t intend to actually do so.  It should also be noted that a debt collector that is not an attorney is never allowed to threaten to sue you since they are not permitted to practice law.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act tells debt collectors that they cannot threaten to do something they are not allowed or do not intend to do.

Time Of Day/Other Restrictions

The FDCPA also prohibits collection calls before 8am or after 9pm.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from calling over and over and it prohibits the use of profane language.  Additionally, it prohibits bill collectors from engaging in any conduct the natural consequence is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person.  This is a pretty broad restriction and is the basis for a good amount of FDCPA lawsuits.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is your shield and sword against aggressive debt collection activity.  Learn your rights so you can fight back.

Some of my Debt Collectors Violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – Now What?

Once you are able to answer the question what is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act you are half way there.  If your debt collectors violated the Statute, its time to hire an experienced Fair Debt Collection Practices Act attorney and put those debt collectors in their place.  The FDCPA provides for up to $1,000.00 in statutory damages, uncapped actual damages, and forces the debt collector to pay my attorney fees.

Post by Jaga Deepana

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