Over the past several years, the U.S. government has gathered abundant evidence outlining the use of abusive and unfair debt collection practices by debt collectors—many of which have contributed to the increasing number of personal bankruptcies, job losses, and invasion of individual privacy. In response to this evidence, the Federal Trade Commission created the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This article will provide more information about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and how it affects consumers struggling with unpaid debts.
Purpose of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The main purpose of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is to prevent debt collectors from engaging in certain types of abusive behavior when attempting to collect debts from individual consumers. Thanks to this Act, debt collectors are unable to contact a consumer who is currently being represented by an attorney, and cannot contact consumers by phone outside of the hours between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. In addition, this Act prohibits debt collections from continually contacting a consumer by phone with the intent to annoy or harass them, as well as communicating with a consumer at their place of employment after being advised in writing that this is unacceptable per company guidelines.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also prohibits debt collectors from communicating with consumers in any way after receiving written notice that they wish to end communication or refuse to pay the debt. Debt collectors may also not misrepresent the debt, publish the consumer’s name or address on “bad debt” lists, or threaten the consumer with legal action if they are not intending on doing so. Furthermore, this Act prohibits debt collectors from using abusive or profane language, discussing a consumer’s debt with a third-party, or reporting false information on an individual’s credit report.
Just because a law is put in place does not mean that everyone is going to follow it. If you are being harassed by debt collectors, the bankruptcy attorneys with Cutler & Associates, Ltd. are here for you.