Congress enacted the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1977 to protect American consumers. The FDCPA does not apply to the debts of a business but only applies to personal, family, and household debts, such as a mortgage, credit card, automobile loan, or medical bill.
The FDCPA mandates that debt collectors send debtors a written “validation notice” containing information including the balance owed on the debt within five days after first contacting a debtor. The validation notice must include the name of the creditor to which the debtor owes the obligation, and instructions regarding the procedure to dispute the debt. Once a recipient of a validation notice disputes the debt or requests verification within thirty days of receiving the notice, the debt collector must cease contact unless it further verifies the debt in writing.
Only with the consent of a consumer may a debt collector contact him before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Debt collectors also may not make contact with individuals at work if a debtor, orally or in writing, informs the debt collector that such calls are disallowed. When debt collectors make contact by phone, email, letter, or text message, they must follow applicable federal and state laws and disclose the fact that they are collecting a debt.
Any consumer who desires that a debt collector cease any interaction must request in writing that it stop all contact. A recommended course of action is to send this request by certified mail and “return receipt requested” to demonstrate proof that the letter was sent and the debt collector received it. Once a debt collector receives this notice, it may not make any further contact, with two exceptions: a collector may make contact to acknowledge that it will make no further contact; or to provide notice of some action it has undertaken, such as filing a lawsuit.
In this situation, it may be beneficial for a debtor to retain legal representation since a debt collector may only contact a debtor’s attorney in this circumstance and not the individual consumer that the creditor allegedly owes the obligation. Debt collectors may only contact parties other than the debtor to obtain knowledge of a debtor’s personal data such as where the debtor is employed and the debtor’s home address and phone number. Debt collectors are prohibited from discussing the details of a debt with anyone other than the alleged debtor, a spouse, or the debtor’s attorney.
The Morrison Law Group strives to achieve complete client satisfaction with the services we provide throughout a bankruptcy case, as well as the ongoing services that we provide post-bankruptcy. Not all Utah Bankruptcy attorneys can make this statement, but the Morrison Law Group is not like other Utah bankruptcy law firms. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.