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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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Is There a “Silver Bullet” for Defeating FDCPA and TCPA Claims?

Collection agencies and debt buyers continue to be inundated with FDCPA and TCPA lawsuits, many of which drag on through months and even years of expensive discovery and motion practice. What if there existed a single argument that could be made in many consumer cases that would successfully remove the matter from Court and likely end the case in its entirety?

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Judge Rules for Debt Collector; Oral Disputes Do Not Trigger Cessation of Collection Efforts Under FDCPA

A district judge in Georgia last week sided with a debt collector in an FDCPA suit where the consumer plaintiff claimed violations because collection efforts continued after she orally disputed a debt and did not dispute the debt in writing for seven months. The ruling, while positive for the ARM company, further confuses the oral vs. written dispute issue.

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Court Allows FDCPA Suit Where Assignment of Judgment Failed to List Current Balance of Debt

In a ruling bound to increase compliance concerns for purchasers of bad debts and collection law firms hired to enforce judgments against consumers, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Powell v. Palisades Acquisition XI, held that the filing of an assignment of judgment is a collection action subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

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Judge Rules that Government Debt is Covered by FDCPA, Forcing Collection Agency to Defend

A federal judge this week sided with a consumer plaintiff in denying a motion to dismiss an FDCPA class action case. The collection agency defendant argued that the debt did not fall under the FDCPA because it was incurred in a transaction required by law. The case also involves a claim concerning disclosure through a clear envelope window, a recent development that is sure to pop up more frequently.