Fair Debt Collection Practices Act - FDCPA

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DEFINITION of 'Fair Debt Collection Practices Act - FDCPA'

A Federal law that limits the behavior and actions of debt collectors who are attempting to collect the debt for another person or entity. The law restricts the means and methods by which they can contact the debtor, as well as the time of day that contact can be made. If violated, suit may be brought within one year to collect damages and attorney fees.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Fair Debt Collection Practices Act - FDCPA'

This law does not protect debtors from those who are attempting to collect a personal debt. For example, if you owe money to the local hardware store and the owner of the store calls you to collect that debt, he is not a debt collector under this act. The act applies to third-party debt collectors such as people who work for a debt collection agency. It is designed to protect debtors from harassment by these individuals in the form of threats of arrest or bodily harm if you don't pay. Collectors can't imply that they represent law enforcement, nor can they make multiple phone calls daily or call you at work if you refuse to take such calls.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Do I still owe debt collectors for a debt that's past the statute of limitations ...

    Learn what a statute of limitations on debt actually limits; that is, what activity or action can no longer justify legal ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What legal action can I take against a debt collector?

    There are plenty of federal regulations and agencies governing the activity of debt collectors, creditors, credit reporting ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can debt collectors add fees to my debt?

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors cannot add any other ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. If a collection agency buys my debt from another agency, does the debt become 'new'?

    If your debt is significantly delinquent – usually 90 days or more past due – your lender may decide to either assign or ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do debt collection agencies make money?

    Debt collection agencies make money by contracting with creditors and collecting money for fees or by buying debt cheaply ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are debt collectors allowed to call me at work?

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, a debt collector can contact a debtor at work unless the debtor specifically tells ... Read Full Answer >>
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