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What The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Means For You, A Debtor

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides consumers with rights related to debt-collecting methods. It spells out how consumers can seek validation of debts and control communications with debt collectors.

If you have questions about how this law applies to your financial circumstances, contact 888-915-0836. We are consumer protection attorneys with the knowledge and skills that you need to use the FDCPA.

What A Debt Collector Must Do

The FDCPA states that collectors can and should:

  • Identify who they are and advise the consumer at each and every communication that the communication is coming from a debt collector. (In the first communication, the collector must also inform the consumer that any information obtained will be used for purposes of debt collection.)
  • Send written correspondence to the consumer’s home address within five days of the first communication identifying who they are, who they are collecting on behalf of, and the balance owed. (In addition, the correspondence must advise the consumer that they have the right to dispute the debt and have 30 days to demand that the debt collector validate the debt.)
  • Discontinue all attempts to collect the debt, if the consumer seeks validation, until the debt collector provides verification.
  • In the event of obtaining a post-dated payment instrument, provide written notice of the intent to deposit the post-dated instrument.

What A Debt Collector Cannot Do Under The FDCPA

A debt collector cannot:

  • Call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. or at any time or that they are given notice that it is inconvenient to call (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692c)
  • Tell other people (friends, family, neighbors) about the fact that a debt is owed (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692b)
  • Call the consumer’s place of employment if they have been advised that calls cannot be accepted at work (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692c)
  • Use any profane language or any language that is harassing and abusive (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692d)
  • Engage in any conduct, the natural consequence of which is to harass, abuse or oppress (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692d)
  • Make any misrepresentations of fact, such as how much is owed or certain actions they may take to force payment (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692e)
  • Threaten arrest or criminal prosecution (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692e)
  • Send false information to the credit bureaus (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692e)
  • Cause a telephone to ring an unreasonable amount of times (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. 1692d)

If a debt collector has engaged in any of the above conduct that is not allowed by the FDCPA statute of limitations or has been deceptive to you, contact our office for a free case review.

We Are Lawyers Who Can Put The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act To Work For You

What can you recover if you have been wronged by a debt collector in violation of the FDCPA? Contact one of our lawyers to learn how we can help you:

  • Make the collectors stop contacting you
  • Recover any actual damages suffered, and/or statutory damage of up to $1,000
  • Have your attorney fees and court costs paid by the defendant

Call us at 888-915-0836 in Sarasota or the Chicago area, or complete an online contact form.