Established in 1977 as an amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) is a statute that is intended to protect borrowers from potentially abusive practices creditors may use when trying to collect debt. While the FDCPA specifically outlines borrowers’ rights, as well as prohibited actions for creditors, it also stipulates what penalties can be handed down when creditors violate the terms of this Act.
It’s important to point out that the stipulations of the FDCPA apply to third-party creditors or, in other words, debt collectors who are trying to retrieve an outstanding debt on behalf of another creditor. Although the terms of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act don’t apply to the original creditors, there are other statutes that do govern their actions (and protect people from their potentially abusive behavior).
Here and in a few upcoming parts of this blog, we will highlight some of the key terms of the FDCPA that borrowers should be aware of. Knowing your rights under this Act can help you identify when creditors may be violating your rights and when you can take legal action against them for doing so.
FDCPA: Borrowers’ Rights
According to the stipulations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, borrowers have the right to:
- Know who is contacting them about a debt – Specifically, creditors are required to identify themselves every time that they call or otherwise communicate with people about outstanding debt. When such points of communication come in the form of mailed notices, creditors are required to provide their full name, as well as their complete address.
- Be informed of their entitlement to dispute the debt – In fact, debt collectors are required to send borrowers a “§1692g” notice within 5 days of first contacting borrowers about a debt. Once borrowers have received this notice, they have 30 days to request an official verification of the debt. If debt collectors fail to send the debt verification within the necessary time frame, borrowers will likely no longer be on the hook for paying back the debt in question.
- Sue debt collectors for violating the FDCPA – If borrowers believe that a debt collector has violated the rights granted to them by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, they have the right to sue the debt collector in question, and they may be awarded compensation if the court finds that the debt collector has, in fact, violated the provisions of the FDCPA.
Be sure to look for the second and third parts of this blog for some more essential information about borrowers’ rights according to the FDCPA.
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For a thorough assessment of your situation, along with expert advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward to unburden yourself from debt, call us at (866) 916-3950 or email us some details about your situation by clicking here.