Debt collection

This Act prohibits debt collectors from using abusive debt-collection practices. It also insures that debt collectors who go about their business in a decent manner, that is without abusing their creditors, are fully protected (FDCPA 801). Most importantly, it protects consumers from abuses arising from debt collection (FDCPA 801). According to this Act, the term consumer underscores any natural individual required to pay any debt (FDCPA 801). Additionally, debt collector is one whose sole business is to collect debts either directly or indirectly (FDCPA 801).

It is also worth while to note that location information encompasses the address or contact details of the consumer (FDCPA 802). Section 805(a) states that the consumer must give prior consent directly to the debt collector or the court must permit the debt collector to follow up a creditor (FDCPA 804). On the same note section 805(a) (1) states that a debt collector cannot follow up a creditor at an inconvenient time or place (FDCPA 805). The Act is also very clear on harassment and abuse cases.

It prohibits any debt collector to harass, oppress or abuse any person in the event of debt collection. Its provisions are as follows (White 34): (a) application of threat or violence with a view to harm the person physically, or to tarnish his reputation or damage his property (b) the debt collectors cannot use obscene or profane language (c) exposing consumers with debts in the public (d) public sale of the property owed to the consumer (d) a nuisance and persistent telephone calls with a motive to provoke, harass or abuse the consumer.

Debt collectors are also barred from having deceptive, misleading representation or abusive language whenever they engage in debt matters (White 36). Debt collectors have a responsibility to take only that action that is legally justified; that means that they cannot operate outside the law (White 40).

Debt collectors should notify the consumer through a written notice which should capture the following requirements (Street 17): (a) the amount owed (b) the name of the creditor owed (c) a 30 days notice which should give the consumer a grace period to dispute the debt validity whereof if he does not then it can be assumed to be valid (d) the consumer should be granted a thirty day period to give a statement as to the validity of the debt whereof the debt collectors will obtain verification from the consumer.

The consumer has got a right to deal with the original creditor and he can make the request through writing (FDCPA 809). The FDCPA Act also prohibits the debt collector from engaging in unfair practices in the collection of debt (FDCPA 808). In other words, the debt collector cannot resort to unconscionable means in the process of debt collection. As such, the debt collector cannot go outside the limits of the debt owed unless it has been authorized by the original debt collector or permitted by law (FDCPA 808).

Moreover, the debt collector should not take or threaten to take any property from the consumer whatsoever through any nonjudicial action. This mainly applies if the property claimed by the debt collector does not legally belong to the consumer such that it cannot be used as collateral. In the same line, the debt collectors must indicate an actual intention to take possession of the property or it must be that the law instructs on the re-possession of the property.