Protecting Consumer Rights Under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Debtors are expected to repay the debt they incurred within the given terms of the contract. Unfortunately, a number of debtors got debts so high, they are unable of repay them at all. Creditors have the right to collect the debt, with a few limits, of course. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA is enacted by the congress to stop abusive debt collectors from applying aggressive collection efforts, including using threats or intimidation to get debtors to pay up.

The FDCPA protects consumer rights related in personal and household debts or consumer debts including phone bills, credit card bills, medical bills, etc. Do note that this Act is only pursuing debt collection and not creditors.

As a debtor, it is important to know what you can do to protect your rights against unscrupulous debt collectors. Below are debt collection efforts that debt collectors cannot apply under the FDCPA:

  • Calling at 8 in the morning or 9 in the evening, your local time
  • Phoning you at work after telling them not to
  • Calling you when you have a legal representation (contact the agency and leave your attorney’s contact details for future communications)
  • Contacting you through postcard
  • Misrepresentation, profane, obscene, language
  • Discussing confidential debt information to a third party
  • Publishing your personal details
  • Reporting inaccurate information to credit bureaus
  • Threatening you with a credit card lawsuit
  • Threatening you with wage garnishment
  • Threatening you with property lien
  • Using fake names or claiming to work in a credit bureau

Debtors’ Rights:

One: You have the right to arrange a payment plan that both parties can agree to (get this in writing and include the date, the name of the person and the time).

Two: You have the right to request collectors to stop contacting you.

Three: File a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission when a collection agency violated your rights as a consumer.

Four: Take legal action against a collection agency when your rights are violation. You will need to hire an attorney who has extensive experience in fighting debt collectors.

As a consumer, you should be aware of your rights and what you need to do in order to protect yourself against abusive debt collectors. Therefore, educating yourself about the enforced law against unscrupulous collection practices is a must.

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