Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal statute that protects consumers from the unfair and abusive practices of debt collectors. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in certain behaviors when attempting to collect on a debt, such as harassing phone calls or threats of legal action. It also provides consumers with certain rights, including the right to dispute a debt and the right to receive validation notices from a collector. Moreover, it sets limits on how much a collector can charge for services. Under the FDCPA, collectors are prohibited from using any false or deceptive means to collect a debt. They cannot threaten violence or harm nor can they threaten to take legal action if no such action is actually intended. Collectors must also refrain from contacting third-party sources regarding the consumer’s debts without prior consent from the consumer or unless compelled by law; contact at inconvenient times; repeatedly call with intent to annoy; use obscene language; falsely represent themselves as attorneys or government representatives; publish lists of consumers who have not paid their debts (except under specific circumstances); make false statements about creditworthiness, character, reputation, etc.; contact by postcard; and more. The FDCPA also grants consumers certain rights when dealing with debt collectors. Consumers have the right to request written verification of any alleged debts within 30 days of receiving notification of collection activity and dispute any amount owed within 30 days after receiving verification notice. Additionally, they are allowed access to their own credit reports once every 12 months free-of-charge and may obtain one additional report per 12 month period for free if they have reason to believe there may be errors contained in their report(s). Finally, under this act consumers are entitled to receive an accounting statement showing how much money has been paid toward each individual creditor for each individual account within 45 days prior to being sued for nonpayment by either the creditor itself or an attorney representing them in court proceedings related thereto.