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What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is an Act that Congress passed in response to a growing number of abusive collection practices used by collection agencies. The FDCPA provides guidelines that creditors must follow when trying to collect debts from consumers. This Act applies to debt collectors. A debt collector is defined as any person who regularly collects debts that are owed to others. This act also applies to attorney collectors but in-house collections are not covered.

If the collection department from your favorite store is contacting you regarding your credit card with them, they are not restricted by the FDCPA, but they are governed by the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act. However, if that same store used an outside collection agency, that agency is governed by the FDCPA.

Some restrictions that the FDCPA puts on debt collectors are:

1. Debt collectors cannot contact a third party who does not owe the debt, such as your employer, relative, or friend.
2. Debt collectors cannot threaten to turn over your account to an attorney, garnish your wages, or repossess your property UNLESS they have an actual intention of doing so.
3. Debt collectors must call between 8am and 9pm, unless you give them permission to do otherwise.
4. Debt collectors cannot use obscenities, insults, or racial slurs.
5. Debt collectors cannot threaten to arrest you if you do not pay the debt.

These are just some of the major rules of the FDCPA, there are many more. If you feel that a creditor has violated this law when trying to collect from you, contact a Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyer today for a consultation.

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