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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (15 USC 1692 et seq.), which became effective in March 1978, was designed to eliminate abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices.

The FDCPA - The Law for Debt Collectors

  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, commonly referred to as the FDCPA, is a federal law that governs the actions of parties acting as third-party debt collectors for personal debts. Auto loans, home loans, medical bills, and credit card accounts are all considered personal debts.

  • The FDCPA applies when these debts are being collected by a third-party debt collector, as opposed to the original creditor. The FDCPA does not apply when a collector is collecting a business debt.


Prohibited Collection Practices

  • Whenever one of your creditors uses a third-party to collect a debt, that collector is obligated to follow the rules of the FDCPA, even when that third-party is an attorney. There are several things that a debt collector cannot do under the FDCPA. They cannot:

  • Call you before 8 am or after 9 pm, based on your time zone

  • Call you at work, provided the debt collector is aware your employer doesn’t approve of these phone calls

  • Harass, oppress, or abuse you

  • Lie to you or falsely imply that you have committed a crime

  • Use unfair practices in an attempt to collect a debt

  • Conceal his or her identity on the phone

  • Disregard a written request from you to cease further contact






Debt Collection

Communication Guidelines


The law also dictates how the debt collector must act when communicating with a person other than the consumer.

  • The collector is prohibited from giving out information pertaining to your debt to anyone but you or your spouse (or your parent or guardian if you're a minor)].

  • Debt collectors are not allowed to communicate via postcard or use any kind of symbol or language on an envelope that indicates they are a debt collector.

  • Once the debt collector learns you are represented by an attorney – and has the contact information for the attorney – the debt collector can only communicate with the attorney.

  • Debt collectors are prohibited from using any form of harassment or abuse while attempting to collect.

  • They cannot threaten violence against the debtor, their reputation, or their property.

  • In addition, debt collectors cannot use obscene or profane language when communicating with the debtor via phone or through the mail.

  • Collection agencies and their collectors cannot publish any kind of listing of consumers that have not paid a debt, except to a consumer bureau.


Full version of Regulatory Laws


To review or print the entire Act, click here:

Full version of Regulatory Laws


To review the entire Act online click here:

Training Videos


FDCPA - Section 802

Congressional Findings

FDCPA - Section 803

Definitions to Know

FDCPA - Section 804

Acquisition of Location Information

- from Third Parties

FDCPA - VTS Continuing Education

  • Review and Test
  • Test - ​FDCPA
  • Test page will open

  • Follow instructions

  • Results will be sent to you and to your Trainer

Full version of GLBA 


To review the entire Act online click here:

JPA / Johnston, Parker & Associates Inc.