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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates collection agencies’ conduct towards consumers
It is important to note that this DOES NOT regulate creditors or their internal collections departments, but only collection agencies or any lawyer who is performing a collection function.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wrote the FDCPA and also enforces the rules. Any violation should be reported to the FTC. A form will be sent to you and upon receipt the FTC will do an investigation. A collector can be fined up to $1,000 for each violation. The consumer can sue the collector directly up to one year from the time of the alleged violation. The FTC can be reached toll-free at (877) 382-4357.
The FDCPA specifically prohibits many activities. The following are most common:
It is important to be aware of your rights. One of the best ways to avoid problems is to communicate honestly with collectors and develop a realistic plan (one that is both acceptable to the collector and financially feasible for you) to repay the debt.
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