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FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in 1977 to protect consumers from abusive, unfair, and deceptive practices by third-party debt collectors. The law details when and how a collector may contact a debtor. The government enforcer of the law has historically been the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but some regulatory duties may be shared with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection housed within the Federal Reserve, created in 2010.

The FDCPA is a strict civil liability law, which means that a consumer need not prove actual damages in order to claim statutory damages of up to $1,000 per violation plus reasonable attorney fees.

It is commonly believed that the FDCPA will be amended and/or updated in the 112th Congress (2011-2012).

The complete Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (PDF, 326 KB)

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State AGs Miss the Mark on Business Records in FDCPA Rulemaking Comments

In comments submitted to the CFPB on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the FDCPA, the attorneys general of 31 states condemned the use of third-party prepared, integrated business records in civil lawsuits to collect debt as an example of “unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices.” But many of those AGs use similar records in their own criminal cases.

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New FDCPA Requirement for Debt Verification: Is There More to the Story?

A recent Circuit Court opinion examined the issue of what constitutes adequate verification in the context of multiple requests for validation by the consumer focused on a specific portion of a debt. While it has been argued that the case requires a debt collector to provide itemized statements whenever any request for validation is received, this interpretation is not borne out by a careful reading of the case and other applicable precedent.