The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that was added to the Consumer Credit Protection Act in 1978. The purpose of the law is to eliminate abusive practices by debt collection agencies and to create guidelines for how debt collectors are to conduct business.
According to FindLaw, FDCPA applies to personal, family, and household debts. The law states that the debt collector can contact the debtor in person, by mail, telephone, telegram or fax. However, if the asks the collector to stop contacting him or her through writing, the debt collector must stop all contact. Listed below are certain types of conduct that FDCPA prohibits. An Arizona bankruptcy lawyer can answer specific information about what the law does and doesn't not allow.
Harassment: The debt collector may not harass the debtor or any attorney representing the debtor. Threatening the debtor or using profane language can be considered forms of harassment. The collector is not allowed to repeatedly contact the debtor to the point where they're being annoying.
Using False Statements: When collecting debt, the collector must not give the debtor any false or misleading information. For example, the debt collector cannot misrepresent the amount of debt that is owed or falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau. Falsely implying that the debtor has committed a crime is also prohibited under FDCPA.
Unfair Practices: This last category might seem obvious to some Arizonians, but it's illegal for debt collectors to engage in illegal practices, such as taking or threatening to take the debtor's property unless it can be done legally. Debt collectors also may not collect any amount of money greater than the debt owed or use deception to make the debtor accept collect calls.
- Debt Collection - Overview (FindLaw)
- Look for an Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer (FindLaw)
- Debt Collection Practices Are Leading to More Complaints (FindLaw KnowledgeBase)