What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Pub L. 95-kins; 90 Stat. 8 Donovan; Title IV; Part VI; U.S.C., Title XVI; 80 Cong. Rec. Titles, supra; sec. 940. Part VII; H.R. Rept. 85; Title IV, Sec. 9; Title V, Sec. 10.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates many of the debt collector and collection agency practices that existed before the Act was passed. Many states and local municipalities have also passed their own statutes regulating these practices. However, the FDCPA was drafted by the FTC, and the decisions of federal court judges rely heavily upon interpretations provided by the Federal Trade Commission. In addition to decisions in state and local jurisdictions, the FDCPA may be affected by decisions made by federal agencies such as the IRS, Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Department of Labor, Office of Fair and Accurate Transactions, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Because of the important role that consumers play in defining what the law requires, consumers can protect their rights under the FDCPA by engaging a qualified attorney.
A qualified attorney will inform you of all of your rights under the FDCPA and will assist you in defending those rights. Such an attorney will take care of everything from initiating the proper proceedings to appealing a decision by a debt collector. They will also make sure that the debt collector obtains the proper authorization and documentation to collect the debt. They will work closely with you and other consumers to develop a strategy for getting the maximum recovery of the debt. If you owe money to a company, an attorney can help you work out an affordable repayment plan to repay the debt.
There are a number of situations when a qualified attorney might be needed. Perhaps you were one of the thousands of people who mistakenly owed money to the IRS instead of the bank. Or perhaps you owe money to debt collectors, but you do not want to admit to them that you are delinquent on your tax obligations. Regardless of your situation, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and get the most favorable results for you and your tax return or credit report.
Perhaps you received a notice that you owed a certain amount of money to a debt collector, but you do not know who this person is. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have the right to request that the name of the person who sent you the notice be placed on a list maintained by the agency. Once you have identified the collector, your attorney can then negotiate a payment plan that will pay off your debt within a reasonable amount of time longer than the statute of limitations. If you are owed money by a collection agency and it took longer to place a notice with the IRS, you may be able to ask that a court order be placed naming the agency as a defendant in your case. The court would then make a decision on whether the agency should be held financially responsible for the debt.
In addition to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, there are many other laws that govern debt collecting. For example, states such as Ohio, California, and Massachusetts have laws that protect consumers from deceptive and harassing debt collectors. However, in some cases, debt collectors break the law and even resort to violence or threats to harm a person’s family if they feel that they are being bullied. To protect yourself, you should notify the debt collector that you want to speak to someone else, or that you wish to pursue the matter through legal channels. In the event that a debt collector attempts to threaten you or your loved ones, you should immediately contact a lawyer.
You can also use a Consumer Credit Counseling (CCA) agency to remove debt collectors from your life. Although you can pay off your debt, sometimes it is better to seek professional help. A CCA can provide you with a way to collect the money that you owe from the debt collector. If you have multiple outstanding debts that they are attempting to collect, it is usually better to seek professional help. Although if you owe money to multiple creditors, the CCA will not be able to contact each of the creditors for you.
There are other methods that you can use to remove your debt collector from your life. One such method is to send a certified letter to the company demanding that they stop harassing you. Most debt collectors will not respect a demand for the removal of services unless you are going to hire a lawyer to remove them. If the collectors have a valid reason to continue to call you, and you have not done anything wrong, they may be forced to abide by this request. If they violate your rights, they may be held legally liable.
This post was written by Trey Wright, one of the best bankruptcy lawyers in Tallahassee FL! Trey is one of the founding partners of Bruner Wright, P.A. Attorneys at Law, which specializes in areas related to bankruptcy law, estate planning, and business litigation.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; the ABA and its members do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.