What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that was formally added into the Consumer Credit Protection Act in 1978. The legislation aims to promote a fair collection process, by disallowing collection agencies from imposing abusive practices on consumers. Furthermore, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides consumers with a medium for disputing and validating their debt information for accuracy and legitimacy purposes.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act creates guidelines that elucidate how a debt collector may conduct business. The statute explicitly defines the rights of consumers involved with the debt process and labels all penalties for violations of the Act.
What does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Prohibit?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits certain types of abusive and deceptive conduct regarding the procedures utilized to collect debts, including the following actions:
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that collection agencies are not allowed to contact their consumers via telephone outside the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits collection agencies from communicating with consumers in any form after receiving a written notice is sent that states the consumer wishes no further communication or refuses to pay the alleged debt.
Debt Collection Agencies are prohibited from causing a telephone to ring or engaging any consumer in a continuous fashion with the intent to abuse, annoy or harass any consumer
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits any debt collector from communicating with the consumer at their place of employment after they have been advised that this is unacceptable or have been prohibited by the employer
The statute impedes any debt collection agency or collector from misrepresentation or deceit; misrepresenting the debt or using deceptive tactics to collect the debt is illegal.
The use of abusive or profane language related to the debt is illegal
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act bars any collection agency from seeking unjustified amounts; only the consumer’s debts (or a portion of them) may be collected.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outlaws a collection agency’s attempt at revealing or discussing the nature of debts with third parties (individuals other than the consumer’s spouse or attorney); collection agencies are allowed to contact co-workers or neighbors but only to obtain location information.
What does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act require Collection Agencies to do?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires collection agencies to identify themselves and notify the customer, in every form of communication that the attempt revolves around collecting a debt. Furthermore, the statute requires the agency to give the name and address of the original creditor, provide verification of the debt and notify the consumer of their right to dispute the debt.