What Are Creditors Required to Do Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a law whose intent is to protect the rights of consumers dealing with debt collectors. The FDCPA outlines the types of abusive and harassing behaviors that creditors have no legal permission to do when collecting debts. It also stipulates the penalties for violating the statute. Namely, that the creditor in violation of the FDCPA will be subject to prosecution by the Federal Trade Commission and that debtors can file private lawsuits against the creditor in an effort to seek damages for harassment.
Legal Requirements Creditors Must Comply With
The FDCPA also outlines things that creditors must do in an effort to collect debt. Some of the legal requirements that creditors must comply with, according to the FDCPA, include that creditors must:
Clearly notify the debtor that they are a debt collector in every communication they have with the debtor, whether it be via phone calls or letters
Provide the creditor’s official name and address within 30 days in the event that a debtor requests it via a written communication
Point out to the debtors that they have the legal right to dispute the debt in question
Give the debtor verification of the debt in the event that a debtor disputes the debt in writing or that the debtor requests the verification; failure to issue a verification of debt within this time frame will mean that the creditor can no longer purse collection efforts with the debtor.
File a lawsuit against the debtor in an appropriate locale, which can either be the region in which the debtors lives, lived or sign the contract
As your FDCPA lawyer can tell you, failing to comply with these legal requirements can result in the same penalties as those associated with harassing or abusing debtors as part of a debt collection effort.