What Is Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is special federal legislation that oversees and governs the act of collecting debts on behalf of other people or organizations by third-party debt collectors.

This federal law puts a limit on the ways of contact with debtors by debt collectors and the amount of time they can call the debtors.

If anyone violates this federal law, the debtor then has the right to sue both the debt collection firm and the individual debt collector for any monetary and legal expense.

What Is Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?

Key Takeaways

  • Debt collectors may not make a threat to sue a debtor unless they plan to prosecute that person.
  • FDCPA works toward protecting the debtor while also allowing the debt collector to get their money.
  • If your debt collector cannot reach you, they may contact your friends and relatives.
  • Collectors can contact third parties just once and are not allowed to use lies and filthy words.

How Does It Work?

The FDCPA is not about shielding debtors from those seeking to collect their personal debt.

For example, if you owe money to your local computer repair shop and the shop owner calls you to collect the debt, this owner is not seen as a debt collector under federal law.

The FDCPA only protects debt collectors who are working for a third party, like a debt collection agency.

The law applies to credit card debt, medical expenses, school loans, mortgages, and other types of household debt.


Debtors can also ask debt collectors not to contact their personal phones in their homes, but this process must happen in writing where they will put it in writing and mail it to the debt collector.

You should send this letter with certified mail to get a return receipt so that you can have the special confirmation of the debt collector receiving your request.

When or if a debt collector does not have any contact information of the debtor, the debt collector can try and get their contact information through relatives, neighbors, or friends, but the debtor cannot reveal anything about the debt, including that they are from a debt collection agency.

Read: 10 Best Debt Relief Companies Of 2022

Furthermore, collectors are only permitted to contact third parties once. Other forms of harassment, such as bodily harm or arrest threats, are also forbidden under the law.

They are also not permitted to lie or use foul or filthy words. Furthermore, debt collectors may not make a threat to sue a debtor unless they plan to prosecute that person.

The Verdict

Fair Debt Collection Practices1 Act works solely toward protecting the debtor while also allowing the debt collector to get their money as smooth and easy as possible.

At this point, there are several things that both sides need to take care of and always follow through such as the debt collector can not give any information regarding the debt to anyone else besides the debtor and their spouses, while the debtor must do everything, including their request of no contact, legally and in writing to have the proof of the debt collector getting those letters.

If one side fails to do something, it might create major legal problems that both sides will have to work hard to fix.

However, this federal law does not protect simple debts such as the money you owe to a local business or to a friend.

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  1. https://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/supmanual/cch/fairdebt.pdf[]

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