The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(FDCPA) was initiated in 1978 as a statute of law under
the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). It
was voted as Law by the Congress to protect consumers from harassment
by debt collectors. When original creditors sell their accounts
receivable to debt collectors, it is often reported that consumers
are harassed to an extreme extent by debt collectors. Harassing
phone calls to their homes, workplaces as well as on their cell
phones was the case. This extreme verbal abuse led to the filing
of record level personal bankruptcies, and Congress had to act
on this matter. The uniqueness of the FDCPA is that it allows
consumers to dispute debts that they owe as well as request validation
of these debts from the collection agencies. This was not possible
before the FDCPA became law.
Definition of Debt Collector?
Debt collectors can also name themselves as
"Factoring Company" or "Collection Agency"
in order to confuse consumers and immune themselves from the rules
of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A debt collector is
anyone regularly collects debts from consumers on behalf of the
original creditors or third parties. Debt collectors use the 2
main communication methods: mail and phone.
What Kinds of Debt?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
is applicable to the following types of debt:
- Auto loans
- Medical care debts
- Credit card debt
- Retail business loans
The FDCPA does NOT apply to the following types
- Agricultural or farming debts
- Business debts
Code of Conduct
The FDCPA strictly prohibits debt collectors
from conducting any of the following activities:
1) Phoning up consumers outside of the hours
8:00am to 9:00pm (consumer's local time).
2) Contacting consumers in any other way after
receiving written notice that the consumer disputes the debt and
refuses to make payment. The only way the debt collector can hereafter
contact the consumer is via litigation or a court judgement.
3) Contacting consumers at their workplace (after
receiving written or phone notice that the consumer does NOT wish
to be contacted at his/her workplace)
4) Pursuing futher collection efforts after
consumer sends a debt validation request which has not been fulfilled
by the debt collector.
5) Misrepresentation of the debt or inflating
6) Publishing the consumer's name on a "Bad
7) Adding erroneous fees or charges to the original
8) Threatening to arrest consumers or take legal
action that is impossible to do
9) Using profane or foul language when communicating
with the consumer
10) Revealing the consumer's debt to other unrelated
parties (except for the consumer's attorney or spouse).
11) Threatening to report false information
to the consumer's Credit Bureau in order to hurt his/her credit
12) Filing for litigation in places other than
where the consumer resides or where he signed the debt contract.
13) Wrongfully portray themselves as working
for a Credit Bureau.
14) Wrongfully indicate that consumers who owe
debts have committed a crime
15) Wrongfully indicate that they are government
employees or debt attorneys
16) Threaten to seize and sell your property/assets.
If you are wrongfully harassed by a debt collector,
the FDCPA allows you to sue to the collector in federal court
within 1 year after the harrasment. If the court awards you the
case, you will receive the following compensation:
1) Cost of actual damages
2) Attorney fees and costs incurred by the debtor.
3) Additional damages of 1% of debtor's net
worth, for a maximum of $500,000.
Money & Repair Your Credit History by Suing Credit Bureaus
& Debt Collectors
Many credit bureaus are careless when handling
the credit reports of millions of consumers. Afterall, any mistake
on your credit report could deny you a mortgage loan or a new
car! If you fight against these wrongdoings, you could win good
amount of cash! 1 violation carried out by a Credit Bureau or
a debt collection agency results in a fine of $1000 immediately.
This means you will have an extra $1000 cash in your pocket, and
you are punishing the violaters of the Consumer Law. This is a