What Is the FDCPA Credit Law?
If you’re wondering about the FDCPA credit law, we’re here to give you the facts. Today, we’ll define the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and explain why it was created. We’ll also share how this law in particular protects you. Get to know your rights!
What Is the FDCPA?
The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) is a federal law created to govern what debt collectors can and cannot do as they interact with you and provide information. The law actually gives you – the consumer – protection. It further covers debt collections and how they’re reported in your credit reports.
It’s important to note that your particular state might extend even more protection. Understand your local consumer laws as well.
How Does the FDCPA Credit Law Protect You?
So, how does the FDCPA credit law protect you exactly? In short, this law stops collection companies from using deceptive, unfair, and even abusive practices. It covers personal and household purposes like mortgages, medical collections, and credit cards.
The FDCPA pertains to collection agencies, debt buyers, and even lawyers. Generally, it does not regard your initial creditor (the individual or entity that extended you credit to begin with). There’s a difference between the “creditor” and the “collector.” The FDCPA was established to protect you from third-party debt collectors only.
4 Ways the FDCPA Credit Law Impacts You
You have a say in how debt collectors contact you. You can request in writing that the collector call during convenient times or refrain from calling you altogether. This doesn’t make the debt disappear. However, you may wish for collectors to call your lawyer in some cases. And certainly you should know that collectors are prohibited from communicating your credit information to any third party.
2. FDCPA Credit Law Requires Honesty and Fairness
If you have questions about your debt, collectors are required by law to answer honestly. They should never threaten you with legal repercussions or threaten to take your property. And it’s illegal for them to misrepresent your total debt amount, statute of limitations information, or their own identity. These collectors cannot collect more than you owe or solicit postdated checks as your payment. You should never feel intimidated or skeptical. If you do, file a complaint as soon as possible.
3. Harassment Protection
Legally, debt collection has no room for bullying. You should not be manipulated or misled. Collections cannot call you repeatedly to harass you. They cannot collect a payment without identifying who they are as debt collectors. They must speak to you in a professional manner, without profanity or aggression. And your debts for sale should never be made public.
Beware of scam debt collectors! Don’t ever pay a collection that you’re not absolutely certain you owe. Double-check the documentation. Ask questions. Reach out for help if you’re confused.
4. Debt Validation
Collectors must be able to prove that you owe them. It all begins with a validation letter. From there, you can request a verification letter to extract even more information. They’re required to send you (in writing) how much you owe, their name as a creditor, and statements regarding disputes and the original creditor. You should have this information within 5 days of the date on which you initially contacted them.
This validation is an essential piece of credit repair here at White, Jacobs & Associates. We demand proof that all negative items reporting are accurate. It’s a tried and true process that yields lasting results.
Words of FDCPA Advice
Never take action on collections until you’re certain they’re legitimate. Get the information you rightfully deserve. If you’re violated, you should file a complaint and possibly sue the agency. Keep excellent, detailed records as you research and communicate with collectors.
Debt and collections can make you feel overwhelmed and powerless. Get your confidence and buying power back! Know which credit laws protect and assist the consumer. And don’t let collectors get away with unlawful behavior and practices.