The FDCPA, or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, protects consumers from abusive collection techniques and provides legal recourse to fight back against third-party debt collectors who violate the law.
Have you ever dealt with debt collectors that call repeatedly before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., use profane or abusive language, or insist on contacting you at work even though you have let them know your employer prohibits the calls? These are all violations of the act, and under the FDCPA you have the right to file a lawsuit in a federal or state court to collect damages.
This was a very popular course of action among consumers in 2009. In fact, according to WebRecon LLC, a company that tracks consumer protection lawsuits, FDCPA lawsuits increased dramatically over 2008. There were 8,287 FDCPA lawsuits in 2009 compared to 5,188 in 2008.
If you're interested in learning more about your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, check out the FTC's Debt Collection FAQs: A Guide for Consumers for a comprehensive review of the most common questions from consumers.