Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Debt collection is an important part of the way that many companies make lending choices today. For example, if a company chooses to give credit on certain purchases, they need a process to recover their debt if the individual doesn’t pay. That’s where a debt collector comes in, either working on their own merits or working for the company in question.
However, while the debtor is in the wrong here, that doesn’t mean a debt collector should be allowed to do whatever they want while collecting the debt. This is where, at least in the United States, the FDCPA comes into play, ensuring that debt collectors have to be humane and respectful to the individuals they’re collecting debts from.
What Is the FDCPA?
The FDCPA is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It’s an act that Congress passed in 1977 attempting to make sure debt collectors didn’t unfairly target the debtors they were pursuing. Through the FDCPA, debtors are guaranteed certain rights even though they’ve defaulted on their loans. The idea is that even though debtors have defaulted on their loans, debt collectors still aren’t allowed to be predatory toward them.
What Are the Responsibilities Debt Collectors Have Under the FDCPA?
Because of the FDCPA, debt collectors have some responsibilities that they have to stick to while recovering a debt. These responsibilities may vary depending on the specific situation, but in general, it includes these responsibilities:
- Not make threats or harass individuals in attempts to recover a debt.
- Not make false or misleading statements about the debt or the potential consequences of nonpayment.
- Not call the individual during times the individual has asked them not to call.
- Not be deceptive, abusive, or unfair.
In general, these are pretty common-sense responsibilities, but they’re also legally obligatory. That means if you disregard them, even in one case, you can end up in serious legal trouble. You need to make sure you’re being responsible in every single case.
How Can Debt Collectors Make Sure They Abide By the FDCPA?
As a debt collector, going astray of the FDCPA even once can come with fines and other consequences. Even if you’re frustrated about the way a debtor is treating you, it’s still not okay for you to make threats or harass them in an attempt to recover the debt. Debt collectors need to be calm and collected at all times.
One of the best ways to make sure you’re abiding by the FDCPA is simply to know more about it and to keep the requirements of the FDCPA in mind at all times. Additionally, you can use methods of communication that are less prone to emotional outbursts, like contacting an individual through the mail instead of in person.
How Can Enformion Help Debt Collectors Make Sure They’re Sticking to FDCPA Guidelines?
One of the provisions of the FDCPA is that if you’re trying to contact someone by phone or in person, they can request that you only contact them during certain hours. This is where a physical address can come into play, allowing you to contact someone through the mail instead. Additionally, if someone suddenly moves to try and avoid you, it’s possible to use Enformion to continue contacting the individual without harassing them.