What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a United States statute that was formally added into the Consumer Credit Protection Act in 1978. The purpose of the provision was to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts and to promote a fair debt collection process. Furthermore, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act aimed to provide consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining a validation of their debt information for the purpose of ensuring the repayment schedule’s accuracy.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act created guidelines that elucidate upon how a debt collector may conduct business. The statute explicitly defined the rights of those consumers involved with debt collectors and prescribed penalties and remedies for violations of the Act. As a result of these provisions and regulations, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is sometimes used in conjunction with the Fair Reporting 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 prohibits collection agencies from contacting consumers by telephone outside of 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 way after receiving written notice that states the consumer wishes no further communication or refuses to pay the alleged debt, with certain exceptions, including advising that collection efforts are being terminated or that the collector intends to file a lawsuit or pursue other remedies where permitted.
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, which include the demand of any amounts not permitted under an applicable contract or as provided under applicable law.
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 all debt 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.