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home | FDCPA

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Here you'll find articles and studies on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Creditors' Liability for Agency Violations
This legal case study looks at a situation in which a college student's defaults on her debt. The college refers her account to a collection agency, and she sues based on violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Does she have a case? Did the collge do anything wrong? Read on for the answers and analysis! . . . keep reading
SearchAmerica Announces New Permissible Purpose Searches
SearchAmerica, a proven online service that helps organizations quickly, easily, and inexpensively find people, today announced the release of two new searches. Both searches, Permissible Address to Social Security Number (SSN) and Permissible SSN to Address, access the credit header (or demographic portion) of credit reports. To take advantage of these "permissible purpose" searches, organizations must show a legitimate business need for the information in connection with a business transaction initiated by the consumer. . . . keep reading
Are Both the Employer and the Employee Resonsible For This Improper Ordering of a Consumer Credit Report?
As finance manager of Hoffman of Simsbury, an auto dealership, Mark Strauss was authorized to obtain credit reports on prospective purchasers of cars. On July 3, 1995, he requested and obtained a credit report from a consumer credit agency on Debra Northrop, although she had no business dealings with Hoffman that would have provided Strauss with a legitimate reason to obtain her credit report. This legal case study looks at what happened to Northrop as a result of the pulling of her credit report, and whether Strauss and his auto dealership got themselves in a jam as a result of their actions. . . . keep reading
Legal Case Study: The Case of the Collection Letter That Might Have Missrepresented the Agency. Or Did It?
Lori Pettit received a collection letter from Retrieval Masters Creditors Bureau, Incorporated ("RMCB") dunning her for an outstanding debt. The letterhead prominently displayed at the top the entire . . . keep reading
Credit Reporting and Bankruptcy: Is Your Post-Discharge Credit Reporting Inviting Trouble?
November 15, 2010, By Diane P. Furr & Lisa Sumner
Credit Reporting and Bankruptcy: Is Your Post-Discharge Credit Reporting Inviting Trouble? In difficult economic times, debtors' attorneys closely review credit reports looking for potential legal claims against creditors. Long after a debtor has been discharged from bankruptcy, creditors can find themselves defending claims of improper credit reporting. A recent case from the Eastern District of North Carolina illustrates the trouble facing creditors who furnish incorrect reports of discharged debt. See In re Adams (Bankr. E.D.N.C. 2010). . . . keep reading
Does a Debt Created by Passing a Bad Check Fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
Snow paid for goods at a convenience store by writing a check in the amount of $23.12. When the check bounced, the store sent it to its attorney, Riddle, for collection. Riddle sent Snow a letter demanding that payment, plus a $15 service fee, be made within seven days or suit would be filed. Snow paid the $23.12 but refused to pay the $15. He then sued Riddle for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by not including a "validation notice" alerting him to his rights under the FDCPA. The suit sought $1000 in statutory damages as well as an unspecified amount for emotional distress. Does Snow have a case? . . . keep reading
Legal Case Study: Debtor Sues Based on Deceptive Letter from In-house Collection Arm. Is that A FDCPA Violation?
This legal case study explores a situation in which a retail credit card holder fell behind on her payments. This retailer's accounts were operated by Citicorp, which sent the debtor various dunning notices. When she failed to pay, she received a letter from "Debtor Assistance," which stated that "your account has recently [been] charged off" and which offered her a manageable repayment schedule. At the time of this case, Debtor Assistance was actually a unit of Citicorp that handles accounts that have been written off but not yet assigned to collection agencies. The debtor never paid and ended up filing for bankruptcy protection. She eventually sued Citicorp for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), based on the letter from Debtor Assistance.

Think she had a case? Read on for the answer and our analysis! . . .
keep reading
Case Study: Is This Law Firm in Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Because of the Way it is Mass Producing Collection Letters?
This case study examines a situation in which a debtor complains that letters he's received from a collection law firm are in violation of the FDCPA because the signature of the partner at the bottom were generated automatically, and not signed personally. He also took issue with some of the language in the letters. Read on to see if he has a case! . . . keep reading
Does This Action By An Agency Fall Under The FDCPA?
Betty Clark was "flabbergasted," as she put it, when the store called to tell her that her check had bounced. Why, she'd never had such a thing happen before. Would she come right down with the cash to cover the check? they wanted to know. Well, of course she would. She certainly didn't want a reputation for that. This case study examines a situation in which a debtor bounces a check, breaks a promise to make it good, then ignores collection efforts by both the store she wrote it to; and then an agency hired to follow up. she claimed their letter-writing was too aggressive and they were violating her rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, treating her like a criminal. So she sued them. Can she collect? . . . keep reading
Is This Suit - Filed in the Wrong County - a FDCPA Violation?
This legal case study examines a situation in which a creditor sued a debtor in the wrong county for a bad check. The debtor claimed he was protected from such a suit because it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The creditor countered that he was prosecuting a fraud because of the bad check, rather than collecting the money. And further, because he did not intentionally file in the wrong county, and had procedures designed to protect against such mistakes, a suit against the creditor would be fruitless. Who's right? . . . keep reading
Case Study: Is This Collector in Trouble Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
In this legal case study, we examine a situation in which a collector calls a debtor who is three months behind in his payments, only to find he's out of work. After some conversation, the collector offered an implied threat that he'd come over and repossess his furniture. Is this kind of threat going to get him in trouble with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?

Read on for an interesting case, along with the answer and our analysis of this situation, in particular, what the FDCPA says about the collector's actions. Also learn: what property is exempt. . . .
keep reading
Legal Case Study: Did This Agency Violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act When Trying to Collect an Old Student Loan Debt?
This case study examines a number of potentially troubling actions by an aggressive collection agency charged with collecting a 12-year old student loan. She claims that the loans were discharged in bankruptcy. But the agency doesn't see it that way. They just have paperwork indicating she owes the money and they want it. Now that she has a good job, they garnished her pay check, further infuriating her. Read on for the results of this collection action and subsequent dustup! . . . keep reading
Collections and Caller ID
This case study explores the privacy issues associated with debt collection, in particular as it relates to caller-ID. It examines the impact of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), as well as state regulations on privacy. What an agency (and sometimes general creditor) can and cannot do, along with conflicting state regulations. . . . keep reading
Training Collectors to Take a Customer-Service Approach
"When I first started out in collections, we were taught to have a "tough guy" attitude," recalls one veteran collector. "The delinquent customer was a deadbeat, and whether the person was one month or six months late, we came down hard. It wasn't uncommon to say 'I need you to pay your past-due amount today or I'll start legal proceedings and mean it!" But today, it's different.
  • Important factors (beyond the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) why collectors today must have a different attitude when collecting than in years past. In this article you'll learn:
  • Several good reasons to treat your overdue accounts with a light touch
  • Specific training ideas to help collection staff make the transition from "old school" to a less confrontational approach
. . .
keep reading
Validation Notice: A Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
Mary purchased a bed and defaulted on the payment plan. The ABC Furniture Co. referred the claim to a collection agency and the collection agency wrote a letter claiming both Mary and her husband Bill were liable. Bill then called the agency and told them that he and Mary were divorced, and he, therefore, was not responsible for the debt. Bill never communicated to the collection agency in writing and assumed that the matter had been closed. About three months later Bill and his new wife applied for a mortgage on a new house. When the credit reports were ordered, he learned that the debt was still being reported and not as a disputed debt. At that point Bill retained a consumer attorney and instituted a suit against the collection agency for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Is the agency liable?
  • In addition to the "basics," the three key things that a validation notice must contain
  • Technical interpretations being applied to the statutory language in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • The true test for determining if a debt collector falsely reported a consumer debt
. . .
keep reading
Is this a Consumer Debt or a Business Debt?
James Moore purchased computer equipment from ABC Electronics for the grocery store he had operated for almost his entire life. Repeated illnesses forced him to close the store, however, and he was unable to make payments and finally defaulted. ABC wrote him three letters and then referred the matter to a collection agency. The agency called Moore at his place of business several times, and each time they got a recorded message. Then, after a search at the county clerk's office turned up Moore's home address, the agency began placing calls to his home. After the fourth call, Moore consulted an attorney and instituted a suit against the agency for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Moore charged that the telephone calls constituted an abuse of debt collection practices and that since he was an individual doing business as a trade name, he should be covered under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The agency argued that Moore was a business debtor, and that therefore the transaction was not a consumer transaction and should not be covered under the FDCPA. Who is right? . . . keep reading
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