The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is an act which was added in 1978 and is a United States statute. It is set up under the title VIII of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The purpose of the act serves to eradicate and eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts. It promotes fair debt collection and also provides the consumer with grounds for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information’s accuracy. This act creates deadlines under which debt collectors may conduct business. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act defines rights of consumers involved with debt collectors and prescribes penalties and remedies for violations of the act. This act is sometimes used with the fair reporting act.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act exercises these rules and prohibits some abusive and deceptive conducts. These rules include:

  • Hours for phone contact
  • Failure to cease communication upon request
  • Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously
  • Communicating with consumers at their place of employment
  • Contacting consumers known to be represented by an attorney
  • Communicating with consumer after request for validation has been made
  • Misrepresentation or deceit
  • Publishing the consumer’s name or address
  • Seeking unjustified amounts
  • Threatening arrest or legal action
  • Abusive or profane language
  • Communication with third parties
  • Contact by embarrassing media
  • Reporting false information on a consumer’s credit report.

The act requires the debt collectors to do things like identify themselves and notify the consumer, give the name and address of the original creditor, notify the consumer of their right to dispute the debt, provide verification of the debt, and file a lawsuit in a proper venue. Some of the many options to avoid the collectors include simply not picking up the phone, screening calls via caller ID or even getting calls blocked if your phone has that feature.