CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

An Introduction to the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

If you have ever known someone who has struggled with debt, you may be familiar with stories of rude, upsetting or even downright offensive debt-collector behavior. But, even though many consumers are not aware of it, there are legal limits on what creditors can do to collect payment. Knowing the basics about your rights during the debt-collection process is imperative to avoid creditor harassment.

Federal Protection

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, known as the FDCPA, is a federal law that bars debt collectors from taking certain actions to secure payments from consumers.

A debt collector restricted by the FDCPA is someone in the regular practice of collecting money owed to others; for example, collection agencies, certain lawyers and firms that purchase unpaid debts are all subject to the provisions of the FDCPA. The FDCPA applies to most types of consumer debts. “Personal, family, and household debts” like mortgages, car loans, medical bills, or credit-card balances are all covered. The FDCPA does not apply to business debts, however.

Within five days of contacting you, a debt collector is required under the FDCPA to provide a written notice that contains the amount you owe, the name of the creditor and instructions detailing the proper procedure for disputing the debt. If you wish to dispute the debt and do so in writing within 30 days, the debt collector must cease collection efforts until it can provide you with written verification of the debt.

In addition to informational requirements, the FDCPA prohibits a number of behaviors that could amount to creditor harassment . For instance, a debt collector cannot call repeatedly or before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., threaten action the collector does not intend to take, use offensive language, make any false statement or commence with collection efforts after you have made a written cease-communication request.

Take Action

Although the FDCPA provides broad protections, remember that creditors can take legal actions to force payments of underlying debts. Assets with liens on them may be seized, or bank accounts or wages could be garnished.

If you are facing debt-collection efforts, contact an attorney today to explore your options. Once you are represented by a lawyer, debt collectors are only allowed to contact you through your attorney. Furthermore, your legal representative can sue for creditor harassment if you have been treated unfairly in the collection process and may be able to collect monetary damages.

Remember, it is always better to address debt problems early on, and your attorney can help you find the best solutions for your individual circumstances.

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

How Does Claiming Bankruptcy in Florida Affect Your Children?

Claiming Bankruptcy in Florida Understanding how claiming bankruptcy in Florida affects your children is an important part of determining whether...
Read More

Claiming Bankruptcy in Florida: What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy and Your Spouse Does Not?

Claiming Bankruptcy in Florida You already know how much the things you do affect your spouse when you are married....
Read More

Should You Pay Back What You Owe Loved Ones Before You File for Bankruptcy?

Florida Bankruptcy Laws It’s common for people who are struggling financially to turn to their friends and family for help....
Read More

Bankruptcy and Family Law: Does Filing Affect the Child Support I Pay or Receive?

Bankruptcy and Family Law If you’re like many people, the well-being of your children is your most important priority. Struggling...
Read More

5 Tips for Overcoming the Emotional Toll of Bankruptcy

Florida Bankruptcy Attorney Getting through the bankruptcy process is about more than just improving your finances. Working with a Florida...
Read More

Bankruptcy and Divorce: The Far-from-Perfect Storm

Bankruptcy and Family Law Bankruptcy and divorce separately are two of the most stressful events you can experience in your...
Read More

Does the Pandemic Have You in a Holding Pattern? Here’s How to Know When to File for COVID Bankruptcy

COVID Bankruptcy If you’re struggling to make ends meet and you feel as if your life is on hold because...
Read More

Will Your Favorite Retailer File for Business Bankruptcy in 2021?

Business Bankruptcy 2020 was a tumultuous year and many of the financial challenges caused by the pandemic are expected to...
Read More

Boosted and Extended Benefits Keeping Unemployed Afloat – But For How Long?

Unemployment Benefits Were you one of the millions of people who ended up out of a job and using unemployment...
Read More

Should Bankruptcy Laws Be Adjusted Because of COVID-19?

Bankruptcy Laws The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of changes throughout 2020 and many are expected to continue into 2021...
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

NACBA Logo avvo1 avvo2 avvo3 LEA BBB Logo RG Seal

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions