What is the FDCPA?


Quick Answer

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a law that protects consumers from abusive or deceptive practices in attempts to collect money they owe, states the Federal Trade Commission. The FDCPA took effect in March 1978.

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Full Answer

The law sets out rules for when, where and how consumers may be contacted about their debts, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For example, under the FDCPA, collectors may not use obscene or harassing language or call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Creditors may not pretend they are attorneys or with law enforcement or claim that the debtor is at risk of prison time. Violation of the act can result in fines, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the FDCPA for the U.S. government.

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