The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) bars debt collectors from using abusive, unfair and deceptive tactics to force consumers to pay. Its purposes are to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts. The Act prohibits certain types of “abusive and deceptive” conduct when attempting to collect debts, including the following:
- Hours for phone contact: Debt collectors can’t contact you at inconvenient places or times, such as at work or between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
- Failure to cease communication upon request: communicating with consumers in any way (other than litigation) after receiving written notice that said consumer wishes no further communication or refuses to pay the alleged debt, with certain exceptions, including advising that collection efforts are being terminated or that the collector intends to file a lawsuit or pursue other remedies where permitted.
- Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously: with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
- Communicating with consumers at their place of employment after having been advised that this is unacceptable or prohibited by the employer.
- Contacting consumer known to be represented by an attorney.
- Communicating with consumer after request for validation has been made: communicating with the consumer or the pursuing collection efforts by the debt collector after receipt of a consumer’s written request for verification of a debt made within the 30 day validation period (or for the name and address of the original creditor on a debt) and before the debt collector mails the consumer the requested verification or original creditor’s name and address.
- Misrepresentation or deceit: misrepresenting the debt or using deception to collect the debt, including a debt collector’s misrepresentation that he or she is an attorney or law enforcement officer.
- Seeking unjustified amounts, which would include demanding any amounts not permitted under an applicable contract or as provided under applicable law.
- Threatening arrest or legal action that is either not permitted or not actually contemplated.
- Abusive profane language used in the course of communication related to the debt.
- Communication with third parties: revealing or discussing the nature of debts with third parties. (other than the consumer’s spouse or attorney)
- Reporting false information on a consumer’s credit report or threatening to do so in the process of collection.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
1500 John F Kennedy Boulevard Suite #200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 854-6342 (Office)