The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Published: 28th November 2016
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Copyright (c) 2014 Mark Shapiro

I am not a lawyer, I'm a judgment referral expert (Judgment Broker). The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) are a set of laws regulating (among other things) how creditors should communicate with judgment debtors.

The FDCPA is both a guide and a set of laws behavior of debt collectors. Generally, the FDCPA laws protects judgment debtors from creditors, and gives judgment debtors rights and remedies for all judgment creditor violations.

Just like many laws, the full set of FDCPA laws are lengthy and hard to understand. Some of the most important parts specify that creditors must be careful not to tell others about the judgment debtor's debt.

You must avoid all forms of improper disclosures. One can inform the judgment debtor's spouse as per section 805. However, one may not inform a debtor's employer the debtor owes the debt, and one cannot put "judgment collector or debt" on envelopes you mail to judgment debtor, etc.

Another important section of the FDCPA laws specify that you can not threaten (or even tell your judgment debtor) any action that you're not legally able and fully ready make happen. For example, one cannot tell a judgment debtor that they may lose their house, unless you really can and will cause that to happen.

Some Judgment Enforcers debate that when one purchases a judgment and then recovers it, they are not a third-party debt collector, and do not have to worry about following the FDCPA laws.

However, most judgment recovery specialists follow the FDCPA laws because they are generally common sense, are somewhat vague, and the penalties for not following them can be severe.

Also, often what you do and call yourself; doesn't matter, the laws will still apply (often as the complaint of the judgment debtor's attorney) to you, even if you think they don't.

That said, I think the FDCPA laws may hurt debtors, because they may prevent them from "smelling the coffee" and paying, before a more drastic thing happens. The FDCPA laws sometimes hurts the consumers (debtors) they were designed to protect.

For example, a Judgment Enforcer can arrange to have their sheriff seize and auction off the judgment debtor's vehicle without any prior notice to the judgment debtor. In some states, when that happens, the judgment creditor gets the vehicle, and that judgment debtor still has to pay off the car loan!

The FDCPA laws prevent one from calling the debtor and communicating anything remotely close to "it would be smart to work out some repayment arrangement with me. If you do not, something bad will happen to you soon". This may completely true, however communicating that is considered a threat under the FDCPA.

If one communicates to a debtor "if they do not begin paying, you are going to have the sheriff seize their car and then sell it", the judgment debtor may conceal their car. Often,, such wordings may cause many judgment debtors to arrange a repayment plan to avoid having their vehicle levied. However, in some cases, such words may be used by the judgment debtor against you, if they allege FDCPA violations.

Because of the FDCPA laws, Judgment Enforcers are better off by having their sheriff seize their judgment debtor's vehicle one day by surprise, than to use the possibility to encourage the judgment debtors to "smell the coffee" and arrange a repayment plan.


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Mark D. Shapiro - Judgment Broker - Free leads for contingency collection lawyers. http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - is where Judgments quickly get Recovered by the best!

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