Unfair Practices

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Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a United States statute created to protect you.

What the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Does

The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices (FDCPA) is a United States statute added in 1978 as Title VIII of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Its intent is to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts, to advocate for fair debt collection, and to offer consumers a way to dispute and obtain validation of debt information in order to ensure the information’s accuracy. The Act creates guidelines under which debt collectors may conduct business, defines rights of consumers involved with debt collectors, and prescribes penalties and remedies for violations of the Act.

Under the FDCPA, you have specific rights

Collection agencies MAY NOT:

  • Contact consumers by telephone outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time
  • Fail to cease communication upon request
  • Cause a telephone to ring or engage any person in telephone conversation repeatedly with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number
  • Communicate with consumers at their place of employment after having been advised that this is unacceptable or prohibited by the employer
  • Directly contact a consumer known to be represented by an attorney
  • Speak with a consumer after a request for validation has been made
  • Misrepresent debt or using deception to collect the debt
  • Publish a consumer’s name or address on a “bad debt” list
  • Seek unjustified amounts, or demand any amounts not permitted under an applicable contract
  • Threatening arrest or legal action that is not permitted or not actually contemplated
  • Use abusive or profane language in the course of communication-related to the debt
  • Communicate with third parties to reveal or discuss the nature of debts involved (other than the consumer’s spouse or attorney)
  • Pursue contact via embarrassing media, such as sending a postcard, or using a symbol or language, other than the debt collector’s address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer
  • Report false information on a consumer’s credit report, or threatening to do so in the process of collection

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