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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)

Opinion on Red Keyboard Button.

FTC’s Reilly Dolan Lists Those Banned From Debt Collection, and Discusses Industry Self-Regulation

Earlier this week, Reilly Dolan, Associate Director, Division of Financial Practices at the Federal Trade Commission posted a blog about the debt buying industry and its efforts to self-regulate. Click here to read the full text of the piece, which offers insight into the regulator’s expectations. Also of interest is the link to the 75 bad apples recently banned from the debt collection business.

Big Boy Bobbles - Victory of the People

Eleventh Circuit Court Cites “Plain Language” of the FDCPA, Rules in Favor of Capital One in Debt Collection Case

If an entity acquires a debt in default and tries to collect on it, does that automatically make it a “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act? Several courts, including the Third, Seventh, and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeals, all said yes it does. In a surprise ruling earlier this week, however, the […]

dental

CFPB Takes Action against Springstone Financial, LLC; Collectors Should Take Note

The CFPB has ordered Springstone Financial to provide $700,000 in relief to victims of deceptive credit enrollment tactics, stating that many consumers who signed up for Springstone’s deferred-interest loan product at dental offices to pay for dental work were led to believe that the product was interest free. In fact, interest accrued from the date of the consumer’s purchase and was charged if the balance was not paid in full before the promotional period ended. Turns out this is a lesson in training, monitoring, and UDAAP violations.

Ideas, debate

CFPB Files Amicus Brief in FDCPA case

Last week the CFPB, jointly with the FTC, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Bock v. Pressler & Pressler, LLP. In the case a U.S. district court previously ruled that a debt collection law firm violated the Fair Debt FDCPA by filing a complaint without “meaningful attorney involvement.”