What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

Posted By Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC || 20-Jun-2016

In days gone by, creditors and lenders had almost-free range to do what they please in pursuit of debt owed by individuals and businesses alike. To put an end to their questionable business practices and bring some peace of mind to Americans in financial trouble, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in the late 1970’s. In particular, it was meant to be prevent and legally prohibit any “predatory or abusive” practices used by debt collectors when collecting consumer debt. The FDCPA does not apply to collection of business debts, or to consumer debts collected by the original creditor.

The FDCPA mandates that debt collectors or collection agencies do not:

  • Call you at an unusual hour (late at night or early morning)
  • Contact you at work or notify your co-workers
  • Contact you directly after you told them to speak only to your attorney
  • Use violence, threats, or intimidating tactics
  • Use obscene or generally offensive language
  • Publically list your name as a debtor
  • Advertise the sale of your debt
  • Contact you without disclosing fully their identity

There are additional consumer rights available under New York City code and regulations that further restrict the activity of debt collectors collecting from residents of NYC. A consumer lawyer in New York can help you understand your rights when dealer with a consumer debt collector.

A Step In the Right Direction

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act brought immediate relief to thousands of Americans but the act can only be effective if people respect it. Even to this day, consumer rights are violated by desperate collection agencies that think they can get away with violating the FDCPA. In response, the FDCPA has been updated throughout the years to adapt with the times, but dishonest debt collectors have also adjusted to find legal loopholes or more subtle means to harass debtors. In many ways, it can be likened to a game of cat-and-mouse between collection agencies and legislators, and debtors can feel like they are stuck in the middle.

Thankfully, through the FDCPA and other federal laws, debtors are permitted to protect themselves through legal channels and even litigation. If you are being harassed or abused by a collection agency, or if you suspect they may be violating the FDCPA in any way, contact our New York City debt relief lawyers at the Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC. Attorney Goldenberg has received the 2016 Avvo Client’s Choice Award for Debt Settlement and has been named a Super Lawyers® Rising Star℠ for three years in a row (2014 to 2016). Put his caliber of legal service to good use today by calling 888.301.0584.

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