By Bibek Das
The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) contains several provisions that regulate how debt collectors collect debts from consumers. Under one provision, the FDCPA sets forth the steps a debt collector must take when making initial contact with a consumer (also known as a debtor). The debt collector must give the consumer certain information concerning the debt, in writing (“notice”), as part of the initial communication with the consumer. The debt collector must also send this notice within five days after an initial communication if that initial communication is done orally, such as a phone call.
This notice must state the following: (1) the amount of the debt; (2) the name of the creditor for whom the consumer owes the debt; (3) that the debt collector will assume the debt is valid unless the consumer, within 30 days of receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt; (4) that if the consumer claims in writing within the 30 days that the debt is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment and mail a copy to the consumer; and (5) that, upon written request within the 30 day period, the debt collector will provide the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor. If the debt collector fails to adhere to these provisions of the FDCPA regarding the initial contact with a consumer, the consumer could have a basis for legal cause of action against the debt collector.
There are many different reasons for filing a lawsuit under the FDCPA and its state law counterparts. If you believe your rights may have been violated under, we recommend contacting an attorney to discuss your case and possible legal options. This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not to be construed as providing legal advice. Again, if you believe you have been injured under the FDCPA, we highly recommend that you contact an attorney for further information and legal advice.