What Is a Summary of the Debt Protection Act?


Quick Answer

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outlines the means creditors can use to collect debts, ethical guidelines for collecting outstanding amounts, and the means a debtor can use to challenge payoff demands, according to the Legal Information Institute. The act prohibits creditors from harassing or threatening debtors and requires them to notify debtors of their rights in relation to the debt.

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Full Answer

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides that, without prior consent, a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer about debt collection at any unusual time or place or if he knows that the consumer has an attorney representing him in relation to the debt, notes the Federal Trade Commission. In the process of collecting debt, a debt collector may not use or threaten the use of violence, use abusive language, advertise for the sale of the debt, or repeatedly engage the debtor in telephone conversations. The debt collector may not publish a list of consumers who refuse to pay debt, except to a consumer reporting agency or other legal parties.

The act states that a debt collector may not use misleading representations of the amount or legal status of the debt when collecting the debt, claims the Federal Trade Commission. The debt collector may not use unfair practices, such as taking or threatening nonjudicial action to dispossess property, to collect debt.

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