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.