The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) aims to eliminate abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices. The FDCPA is a federal law specifically applicable to third party debt collectors. It has strict guidelines as to what debt collectors can and cannot do when attempting to collect a debt from you.
The FDCPA restricts the actions of debt collectors by;
- Regulating how debt collectors may contact debtors.
- Stipulating what times of day are permissible for contacting debtors.
- Limiting the frequency of the contact.
- Prohibits abusive, threatening and vulgar language.
- Specifies the entities and individuals that may be contacted in association with your debt.
In the event you believe a debt collector has violated the FDCPA regulations and/or your rights, you may potentially sue them for these violations in either state or federal court.
How Can I File An FDCPA Complaint?
There are 3 primary entities where complaints can be filed against the debt collectors who have breached the regulations set out in the FDCPA.
File A Complaint With The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The CFPB is a government agency tasked with taking action against companies that break the law. This includes debt collectors who use abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices to collect debts from consumers.
The CFPB can help you file the complaint. They usually receive feedback from the accused company within 15 days, and approximately 97% of consumers hear back in a timely manner.
File A Complaint With The Federal Trade Commission
The FTC is a government agency that deals with multiple areas of trade in the United States. This includes ensuring fair debt collection. They may file cases against the companies, but won’t actually help you to resolve your specific complaint. Their aim is to hold the companies legally responsible for the greater good of all consumers.
File A Complaint With The State Attorney General
Depending on the State laws governing debt collection, you can consider lodging a complaint with your state Attorney General. Laws can differ from State to State based on the legislation they pass to govern fair debt collection practices.
What Do You Need To Include In Your Complaint?
Your complaint should include the following information, and documentation where possible:
- Name of the collection agency,
- Name of the person you spoke with,
- Dates and time of the phone calls,
- Specific details about the violation, and
- Any other relevant information/evidence that supports your claim.
This will allow the agency you choose to initiate the necessary process without undue delays or requesting additional information from you.
Debt collectors have a duty to comply with the regulations set out by the FDCPA and the relevant State laws. If your rights have been violated by a debt collector, you may take action against them. Unlike lawsuits, filing a complaint does not guarantee any form of compensation, consider a FREE case review today!