The FDCPA is Born

The ‘Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – FDCPA is born

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that limits things a debt collector can do to collect a debt. It arose as the result of highly abrasive and abusive tactics previously employed by debt collectors. In the past debt collectors would call people at all hours of the night, at their jobs to get them fired, their friends and relatives in order to embarrass them. That’s why on Sept 20th 1977 the FDCPA was passed.  The greatest deterrent debt collectors have to breaking the rules is that they can end up becoming debtors themselves because they can be successfully sued for violating the FDCPA.

What it does do

Prevents debt collectors from calling you are inconvenient times. The generally accepted times are between 8am and 9pm unless both parties agree otherwise.

Gives you the right to dispute and request validation of the debt

Prevents debt collectors from lying or using any sort of false or deceptive means of collecting the debt

Prevents them from calling friends and family members about the debt

Prevents them from calling you multiple times a day just to harass you

Prevents them from using abusive or profane language when contacting you

Prevents them from attempting to otherwise embarrass you by publicly disclosing the debt

Prevents them from contacting you once they know you have legal representation

Prevents them from contacting you once you’ve sent the cease and desist letter

What it doesn’t do

The FDCPA doesn’t cover original creditors. If you owe a tab at your local bar, for example, they can call you and ask for the money.  Only third party collection agencies are covered. Some states, such as California, have similar laws on the books which do cover original creditors.

It doesn’t stop them from putting the debt on your credit report

It doesn’t stop them from calling you every day until you ask them to stop in writing

It doesn’t stop them from calling friends or relatives to try to get your info; they just can’t tell them about the debt

It doesn’t apply to business debts owed by a business



Cornell School of Law FDCPA

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