FDCPA stands for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which was passed to address the abusive conduct of some debt collection agencies. This does not only aim to provide guidelines for these agencies when it comes to collecting, but also protects debtors.
This Act is applicable for household, personal, and family debts, as well as those related to the purchase of cars, first and second mortgages, medical care, and credit card debts. Some of the restrictions imposed by the FDCPA on debt collection agencies include contacting a relative, neighbor, or anyone who does not owe the debt, giving false threats such as harming your credit rating or garnishment, sending of fake letters that look like they come from a court, using a fictitious name, as well as calling during inconvenient times (before 8 am and after 9pm) and places unless given the permission to do so. Moreover, other forms of misconduct that are regulated by the FDCPA include using obscene words and insults, charging fees and interests that are not a part of your contract, making false claims that a lawsuit has been filed against you, falsely claiming that the collector is an attorney, and making threats that you will be arrested if the debt was not paid.
Once a debt collector or an agency violates the regulations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the collector may be sued in a federal or state court within a year. If it was proven that the Act was violated, the person who filed the case will be compensated for the damages that resulted from the violation. Additionally, the person may also be entitled to receive up to a thousand dollars and other expenses such as lawyer’s fees and legal costs will be reimbursed. Legal violations committed by debt collectors may be reported to the Attorney General’s office. For debt collectors outside the state, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may be contacted.