The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) can be confusing and hard to understand. Do you know your Debt Collection Rights? This summary allows anyone to learn their consumer rights and understand what's inside the FDCPA. See the Golden Financial Services Blog Post that goes along with this FDCPA Summary. It is the first post of a series on how to Settle Debt On Your Own.
When this act is combined with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), it equals your consumer rights. Learn the FDCPA now!
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) - Summary Created by Golden Financial Services
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Here is the original and full copy of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Debt Collectors Trying to Locate a Person:
If a debt collector calls anyone in an effort to locate a person who owes debt, they
cannot reveal in any way that the person owes a debt. They can only request the
appropriate contact information for that person. This includes keeping mail sent by a
debt collector confidential.
Once the debt collector is aware that a person who owes a debt is being represented by
an attorney, all communication must be directed to their attorney.
When is a debt collector NOT allowed to contact a person?
A debt collector is not allowed to contact a person at a time that is not convenient for
A debt collector cannot contact a person earlier than 8AM or later than 9PM.
If an attorney is representing someone, and the debt collector has the attorney’s
contact information, they must only contact their attorney unless the attorney fails to
A debt collector is not allowed to contact a person at their place of employment if the
debt collector is told one time that their employer does not allow these types of calls.
Debt collectors cannot communicate with consumers by a post card.
Under most circumstances a debt collector can only contact a person directly, their
attorney or the consumer reporting agencies regarding a debt.
How can a person cease the communication of a debt collector?
A person needs to request in writing that a debt collector cease all communication.
The debt collector must then cease communication, but can send a final notice
stating that they may turn to “special remedies”, as stated in the original FDCPA, or
a final notice saying the debt collector will cease future communication.
Harassment and abuse – the following are all VIOLATIONS. Debt collectors are not allowed to
collect a debt by using tactics that include:
Viciousness or threats that lead a person to believe their life or body, or that their
reputation was in danger of being harmed.
A threat to place someone on an embarrassing list seen by the public.
Method where the intent is to annoy or harass.
Threatening to have a person arrested or imprisoned if they don’t pay.
Lying or misrepresenting WHO THEY REALLY ARE.
Using unauthorized documentation that is meant to scare a person, or that can be
misleading in any way.
Validation of debts
Within 5 days after initial communication with a person regarding their debt, the debt
collector must follow up with something in writing, and which includes the following:
(Refer to § 809. Validation of debts on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for more
information on the validation of debts)
The original creditor’s name and total amount owed.
A statement that tells the consumer they have 30 days to dispute the legitimacy of
the debt. It is important that they dispute the debt immediately if it is truly
o As stated to § 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g], (b) “If the consumer
notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in
subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the
consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt
collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof,
until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a
judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of
such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is
mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.”
When a debt collector takes a legal action
It can only be brought forth by the court system
o (refer to § 811. Legal actions by debt collectors [15 USC 1692i])
Can a consumer pursue legal action on a debt collector?
Debt collectors that fail to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can be
liable for damages and a class action lawsuit can take place.
(Refer to section § 813. Civil liability, of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for more
information on this subject)
What consumers can do to protect themselves from debt collector violations?
Ensure all details which may have been verbally exchanged are received in writing
before making any payments on a debt. Obtain all information pertaining to the
creditor, including their name, address, business name, phone number, fax number,
How do I file a complaint about a debt collector?
Start by filing the complaint with your state’s attorney general.
Consumers can also visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website, and file a
complaint directly with the FTC regarding an abusive debt collector.
The FTC does not resolve complaints, but rather records them. So if you are looking for
a resolution, it will be more effective to start off at the attorney general’s website in the
state where you reside.
Thank you for reading our summary; let us know in the comments of the blog post how you liked it! If
you have any questions please call us, toll-free at (866) 376 – 9846.