Congress enacted the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) on behalf of consumers. However, the FDCPA does not apply to debts when the original creditor or obligee is trying to collect the debt. Rather, it only applies when third parties, like collection agencies, are attempting to collect a debt. Third-party debt collectors are prohibited from using unfair, deceptive, or abusive trade practices when collecting a debt.
Usually, the term “creditor” refers to the original person or entity that extended credit whereas a “debt collector” is an entity that is not the original creditor. The latter includes debt buyers, collection agencies, and attorneys who regularly collect debts as a part of their business. The FDCPA applies to the collection of credit card debts, medical debts, bank loans, mortgages, and other debts incurred for personal or household purposes. However, the FDCPA does not apply to business loans.
The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in the following activity:
- Contacting you between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
- Contacting your friends, family members, neighbors or co-workers about the debt
- Contacting you at work
- Contacting or threatening to contact your employer
- Threatening to file criminal charges or notify immigration authorities
- Using abusive language
- Harassing you or anyone else through telephone or other means of communication
- Using false, misleading or deceptive information in an attempt to collect a debt
The FDCPA also prohibits a debt collector from continuing to call or contact you if the debt collector knows that you have retained an attorney to represent you regarding that debt. It must stop contacting you for a reasonable time and only contact your attorney. If you inform a debt collector in writing to stop contacting you, it cannot contact you further, except to tell you that there will be no further contact, or to notify you of specific actions in the future such as a lawsuit may be filed against you.
However, there are exceptions to the rule regarding original creditors. Any creditor collecting its own debt will not be exempt from the provisions of the FDCPA if it attempts collection using a different name that suggests a third-party is attempting to collect the debt.
The Morrison Law Group strives for complete client satisfaction with the services that we provide throughout a client’s 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. We can help if you are facing possible foreclosure or just a few months behind on your mortgage payments. 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.