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About the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Know Your Rights as a Consumer Debtor

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was approved on September 20, 1977 and subsequently amended on September 30, 1996 to prohibit abusive practices by debt collectors. According to the FDCPA, there is an abundant amount of evidence to support the widespread use of abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices by countless debt collectors.

The federal government contends that abusive collection practices have contributed to a number of personal bankruptcies, marital instabilities, and job losses and to the invasion of individual privacy. In order to combat these abusive debt collection practices, the FDCPA was enacted as federal legislation to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors and to promote consistent state action to protect consumers against all forms of debt collection abuse. Some of the provisions under the FDCPA prohibit debt collectors from engaging in the following behaviors:

  • When making phone calls to an employer, the debt collector cannot state that such consumer owes any debt;
  • Debt collectors are prohibited from communicating via post card;
  • Debt collectors cannot call debtors before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.;
  • They cannot communicate with third parties including the debtor's spouse in respect to the debt without prior consent from the debtor;
  • A debt collector cannot use threats of violence or other criminal means to harm the debtor, their reputation, or property;
  • Debt collectors are prohibited from using obscene or profane language; and
  • Debt collectors cannot cause the telephone to ring continuously or engage anyone in conversation repeatedly with the intent to abuse, harass, or annoy any person at the number.

Are you a victim of debt collection abuse?

These are only a few examples of the provisions covered under the FDCPA. Other provisions address false or misleading representations, unfair practices and validation of debts to name a few. Under Section 813 on Civil Liability, when a debt collector violates any one or more of the provisions of the FDCPA, they can be found legally liable for failing to comply with the FDCPA, and in effect they can be forced to pay any "actual damage sustained by such person as a result of such failure."

If you have been a victim of debt collector abuse, we urge you to contact a Detroit bankruptcy attorney from The Cartwright Law Firm, PLLC to learn about your legal options which may include filing a lawsuit against the debt collector for any violations of the FDCPA.

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