What is FDCPA? (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)

Today, we’re going to talk about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is Mike Ziegler. I’m the managing attorney for The Debt Fighters. We’re a Florida law firm focusing on helping consumers and strategically eliminate serious debt. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, otherwise known as the FTCPA, is a federal law that protects consumers from over-aggressive debt collection. Let’s break this down into a few different components. First, the FTCPA restricts debt collectors. Now, debt collectors are specifically defined under federal law. In most circumstances, a debt collector is not going to be the company that originated the debt. It’s not going to be your credit card company or your initial mortgage company. It’s going to be a company that is specifically focused on collecting on the debt after it’s falling behind.

What does the FTCPA restrict, what types of conduct? In general, the FTCPA does two basic things. First, it provides regulation and assurances that debt collection companies are giving you accurate information and adequate information, so that you can identify who they are and what the debt is. A debt collection company should not tell you that you owe $20,000 if in fact, you owe $10,000. They should be forthright if you have debt that has exceeded the period of time that the debt can be collected upon, usually referred to as the statute of limitations. All of this information has to be provided transparently.

The other thing that the FTCPA does is it protects against harassing conduct. A debt collector shouldn’t be contacting the third parties about your debt. They shouldn’t be calling you at odd hours of the night. They shouldn’t be contacting you incessantly, particularly if you’ve asked them to stop. They should be collecting with decency. We’ve decided as a culture that we are past the point of time where debt should be collected by a very large person with a crowbar who’s standing in front of your doorstep. Instead, we’ve decided that that debt should be collected with a grain of respectability. If those boundaries have been exceeded, then a consumer may be entitled to compensation, even if they owe money. If you have questions about whether collection in your circumstances as exceeded your boundaries, click to the side to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our qualified attorneys.

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