Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – Protection From Debt Collectors

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, FDCPA, is a federal law that governs the actions of debt collectors for personal debts. When a attempts to collect a debt, that third-party is obligated to follow the FDCPA. The FDCPA does not regulate business debt or personal debt incurred for the benefit of a business.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from making harassing, threatening, or misleading statements in order to trick you into making payments. The FDCPA provides that as long as the debt collector knows that you are represented by an attorney, the debt collector cannot contact you directly. The act also provides many other safe guards to protect the consumer. The entire act should be read because there are many other protections that the FDCPA provides.

Debt collectors who violates the FDCPA should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Also, an aggrieved party can file a federal or state lawsuit against the debt collector for violation of the law. However, usually you have to file the lawsuit within one year of the violation to recover the actual damages. One can also recover up to a $1,000 in an individual lawsuit or $5,000 in a class-action lawsuit for each violation, plus attorney fees and costs.

Debt collectors use many different strategies to try and force you pay them before you pay any other debt – even if its not in your best interest to do so. Despite the pressure you might receive, never agree to pay a debt collector if you need to pay other more important debts first.

Many attorneys provide a free and confidential consultation on FDCPA issues. They will help you understand your options and give you unbiased advice. Therefore if you have been a victim of the Debt Collector abuse you should report them to the FTC and contact an attorney immediately.

Learn more about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

38 Replies to “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – Protection From Debt Collectors”

  1. This act is very helpful especially for those unknowing debtors. I have actually witnessed a debt-collector strong-arm a debtor and even demand more than debt amount. I find this article very helpful. Know your rights, people!

  2. Finally! Through this act, debt collectors will not even bother to contact people directly. Debt collectors seem to get edgy sometimes that they somewhat force people who are in debt to them to pay up right then and there.

    1. Well Eddie, some debt collectors will still try to contact people in whichever way that they please, unless you show them that you know your rights.

  3. I used to work as a debt collector in 2009. After like one week I quit. After I found out the truth concerning this type of business, I just couldn’t work in that field any longer and feel good about myself. These debt collection companies actually buy the debts for pennies on the dollar, then turn around and try to collect on the debt itself plus sometimes up to 1000% what the original debt was. Example: You had a $300 credit card debt you didn’t pay. Well, they will keep adding interest to that debt until you pay it. If you didn’t pay it after five years, I have seen debts as high as $3000 after interest. Then they let you haggle, and you end up agreeing to pay like $1000. They made $700! And these offices have two shifts with hundreds of collectors on one shift. Don’t fall for the tricks.

    1. Thanks for your industry insight. This type of behavior definitely needs to be regulated, which fortunately the FDCPA does. But if you don’t know your rights, then you have no right. Hence: the reason for this article.

  4. This is actually very informative, i’m 100% sure most people don’t know this and are probably intimidated and scared whenever a debt collector harasses them. Most folk are probably afraid the debt collector is the one in position to take legal actions if one doesn’t pay immediately. Nice post, spread the word, nice to see there are existing laws that actually protect the consumer.

    1. Yes, this is not widespread information. Thank you and everyone else for you comments. Stay tuned for more informative debt articles here at DCC.

  5. FDCPA is absolutely necessary to protect interest of the citizen. Especially the lower middle class who possess high interest debts and struggle to pay them off. The added harassment of Debt collectors does nothing to lessen their miserable situation! Articles like this should be promoted more to raise awareness towards this unruly nature and make citizens feel empowered as they will be assured an adequate compensation of $1000-$5000 too.

  6. For far too long, pop culture and movies /books have influenced the perception of debt collectors as cruel ruthless gangsters looking for fingers to be chopped ! Unfortunate as this may be for the debt collectors who may have no such intention, this has terrified many consumers deeply in debt into parting with cash at the first foreboding knock on the door even if they have more important and urgent debts that need to be cleared up first. The Fair Debt Collection Practices act is good news to consumers who now know that there is a law that protects them and lets them clear their debts without fear of being harassed , threatened or worse.

  7. Debt collectors are necessary evil to the consumers.! To start your own business you need money, which is mostly taken as unofficial loan(debt). Official loans, like one from banks take time to pass, verify and sanctioned depending upon your country laws and designation as the citizen! This basic problem drive the individuals to debt collectors. Their sticky sweet trap seems pleasant at time of taking money but later changes to a long period of harassment. Laws like FDCP are extremely beneficial and protective for consumers. But Government must also look upon in reducing official loan (from banks) sanctioning time and proceedings to enable consumer to prevent one way riding towards debt collectors.

  8. I didn’t know a law regarding debt collection really exist in the United States. I think we should educate more about this to help people protect their rights from opportunist debt collectors.

  9. Thankfully here in the Philippines, a similar version of this law has already been approved. Hopefully this will put an end to the horrible stories I used to hear between third party collectors and debtors.

  10. There are many ways for a debt collector to threat and force the debtors to pay either digitally or physically. I’m sure the FDCPA will be able to provide a good shield when it comes to physical threat and harassment, but when it comes to digital threat, It will be good to know how far FDCPA can protect the debtors. Anyway, It’s a good news that finally we have a system to protect the debtors from being treated unfairly!

  11. Some of my loved ones were previously hounded by debt collectors, and it was absolutely painful to watch them get torn apart over money. It’s amazing to now know that there is a way to stand your ground against these goons, and I hope dearly that more people realize this!

  12. Having debt collectors come knocking on your door can be scary. They have no second thoughts in harassing you into paying your debts on the spot and may even sabotage your property if they do not get what they want. Hence, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a form of protection from the debt collectors.

  13. I myself have been harassed by a debt collection agency, and firmly believe that I was violated in some way. Had I known some of the regulations surrounding this issue, I would have been better equipped to fight for my rights. It’s nice to know that there is a lot more transparency in the debt collection realm for people like me!

  14. It’s amazing that the FDCPA was enacted in 1692 and still people are getting abused by debt collectors. When you are in debt to anyone it’s important to know exactly what you are getting into beforehand. Contacting an attorney and learning the facts would also be useful before speaking with a mortgage broker or a loan officer.

  15. Even, I did not lived in the “States”, it is good to know “The Fair Debit Collection Practices Act” happened in the “States. According to the above article, within 1 year to file the lawsuit by the violation act of debt collector . I feel that, this act is fair enough for both parties, debt collectors and the customers; and any awareness for the
    “social justice”.

  16. People can now plan how to pay off debts starting with the most important without fear of being harrased by debt collectors. This is a great law that ensures consumers breath easy somehow as they focus on paying back debt collectors their due.

  17. There was a time when ruthless debt collectors used any scheme they could think of to harass you into paying them, whether your resources were better applied to other needs, or not. I find it interesting that they cannot contact you if you are currently represented by an attorney. That makes sense. I have heard of debt collectors harassing ones friends and, in particular, family members about these issues creating a large level of embarrassment. Fair Debt Collection Practices are an excellent measure to help one keep their sanity in stressful financial times.

  18. Debt collectors were absolutely ruthless at one point in time. Telemarketers were as well; I was ecstatic when the ‘Do Not Call’ registry went into effect because it seemed like no matter how many times they were asked to take the number off of the call list it never mattered! I do really wish I would have known about The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act a few years back, however, as there was a particular company that was harassing me relentlessly. I would have loved to have had some ‘ammunition’ to fire back with! (And the potential $1000!)

  19. Hope everybody is aware of this. “Debt collectors”… Sounds like a modern maffia! It’s a good thing we’ve got this law running, can’t have people walking around thinking they can force loantakers into paying up with extra interest and fees. Shame on them

  20. This is a good move forward. Something like this has been badly needed for a long time, putting a legal middle man between collector and those who owe. The job will still get done but in a proper and orderly manner rather than using unlawful tricks of the trade. Protection of rights should always be more important than violation.

  21. Fair Debt Collection Practices will be a great “protection” against those rude and harsh practice of debt collectors. I really hope this would took an effective ways to lessen debitors damage.

  22. This is fantastic, especially because so many debt collectors are absolutely out of hand when attempting to collect past dues. This is going to be a splendid regulatory method to help keep a handle on how debt collectors treat consumers. As someone who has had the misfortune of interacting with cruel and unsavory credit collectors, this is a welcomed development.

  23. It is encouraging to know that there are laws to protect those in debt. Threats and harassment to gain priority of payment is outrageous and those debt collectors can be held accountable for those actions with the FDCPA. This information should be widely accessible and told to all parties thinking about, or actively taking out, a personal loan so they can protect themselves from unreasonable pressures from the third party debt collectors.

  24. I like how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers from harassment as this is often very common when debt collectors want their money. I am glad that they also advise people not to be forced into paying a debt if you have other debts that you need to pay first. I like that this Act informs me of my rights and protections when it concerns debt collections. This is very useful information that I think everyone should be aware of.

  25. This sounds really nice, people should know about this. With the FDCPA, consumers now have a fighting chance against intimidating debt collectors. It’s also great that lawyers are willing to provide free consultation, since some consumers might feel daunted by the possible costs of hiring a lawyer. With this info, they can get help without feeling like they’ve jumped from the frying pan only to land in the fire.

  26. I believe this a very good law to have on the side of the debtor! The Fair Debt Collection Practices act will give the debtor a more fair chance at putting priorities in order where debt is concerned. I am very much for this law, being a consumer myself.

  27. It is good to know that The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act exist because I have heard for years now of debt collectors using unethical business practices. This is long overdue for the mere fact that debt collectors should have never been allowed to make harassing, threatening, or misleading statements to debtors to begin with. This act now ensures that things will be done in an ethical manner.

  28. This is great information to know. It puts my mind at ease. I know debt collectors can be very scary and threatening. Very nice to know we have somebody on our side.

  29. Acts like FDCPA are going to help people to fairly pay for debts and and would help to get hold on the people who are collecting debts. Collection of debts is a serious matter and should be dealt with proper laws so that the rights of the people are not violated and neither they are pressurized and threatened for it.

  30. Great! this would prohibit collection agencies from using unfair, deceptive or abusive practices. At one time it was legal for debt collectors to hound you into paying debts. Yet, after the (FDCPA) was passed, consumers are much more protected from these practices.

  31. This is very good information to know. I have heard about debt collectors who harass people at work and threaten people with jail and other unreasonable things. A lot of people believe that it’s okay for them to do that. I am glad that there is now a way to protect consumers from that.

  32. That’s great! Personally, I like how the Fair Debt Collection Practices act protects debtors with laws such as being shielded from harassments and threatening. This can greatly help debtors focus on earning money to pay back the debt collectors! Win win situation in my opinion!

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