The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

f you’ve fallen behind on your bills, chances are that you are being pursued by a debt collector. The Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau report that they receive more complaints about debt collectors than any other industry. You should know that there are numerous federal and state laws designed to protect consumers.

One such law is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prohibits collection agencies from using abusive, deceptive, and unfair practices to collect a debt from you.  While it cannot eliminate your debt, the FDCPA prohibits a collector from harassing you.

You have rights under the FDCPA if you are:

  • Being contacted by someone regarding an outstanding debt;
  • By a third party collection agency (someone other than the original creditor that you owed money to); and
  • The debt was for a personal, family, or household purpose (such as a personal credit card, auto loan, medical bill, residential mortgage)

Here are some questions and answers about your rights under the Act

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