The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was officially included in the Consumer Credit Protection Act on September 20, 1977 as a way to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices. Not only does it establish very clear guidelines for what a creditor can and cannot do when carrying out their collection efforts, but it provides consumers with the opportunity to dispute and/or validate certain information about the debt that they owe.
For this reason, the FDCPA serves as an integral tool in protecting debtors from creditor harassment and the unfair or manipulative tactics of collection agencies. If you believe your rights under this federal act have been violated in any way, you should not hesitate to discuss your case with our Chicago bankruptcy lawyer—as he can take the appropriate steps to file a formal complaint on your behalf.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the FDCPA was enacted with the intention of protecting consumers against unlawful creditor harassment or abuse. This means that a creditor or a collection agency cannot engage in certain behaviors while attempting to contact, or while speaking to, a debtor. If you have been subjected to any of the behavior below, contact our firm immediately.
In accordance with United States Code §1692c, all creditors must follow strict guidelines when communicating with a debtor or their designated legal counsel.
They are also prohibited from continuing communication with the consumer after being notified in writing that the consumer has refused to pay the debt and/or that the consumer wishes to terminate further communications.
Finally, the FDCPA also protects consumers against false or misleading representations of the creditor's identity, the amount of the debt that they owe and/or the consequences that they could face if they fail to make a payment.
The FDCPA is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission—which means that they alone have the authority to administratively enforce the regulations of the act. You are entitled to file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if your rights under the FDCPA are ever violated by a debt collector, however, as well as with the state's attorney general and the Better Business Bureau.
In doing so, you can ensure that you will not be subjected to unfair practices again. It is also important to understand that you concurrently have the right to file a civil lawsuit against the creditor that has violated your rights, for damages of up to $1,000. Since the FDCPA imposes strict liability, you do not necessarily have to prove actual damages in order to secure compensation.
Interested in learning how our Chicago bankruptcy lawyer can help you resolve a FDCPA-related matter? Contact our office today!