You’re Rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

The FDCPA was put into place because of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by debt collectors. Here is what you need to know to protect yourself.

Ceasing Communication- If you notify a debt collector in writing that you refuse to pay a debt or you wish to cease communication with the debt collector, the debt collector must cease all communication with you.

Communication with 3rd parties – A debt collector may not communicate with 3rd parties stating you owe a debt. The debt collector can only call 3rd parties trying to find your address and phone number or place of employment.

When a Debt collector can call you – A debt collector cannot call you before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. your local time.

Harassment or Abuse – A debt collector may not in any way harass, oppress, or abuse you in any way.

• The use of violence or criminal means to harm you, your reputation, or your property
• The use of obscene or profane language.
• The publication of your personal information other than to the consumer credit reporting agency.
• The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of debt
• Telephone calls that repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at called number

False or Misleading Representation – A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation as a means to collect a debt.

• False representation that the debt collector is represented by the United States or any branch of local or national government
• False representation that the debt collector is an attorney.
• False representation that nonpayment will result in arrest, imprisonment, seizure, garnishment, attached to the sale of any property or wages unless such actions is lawful and the creditor intends to take such action via courts.
• The threat to take action that cannot be legally taken or that the debt collector did not intent to take.

Validation of Debts – The debt collector must notify you within five days after initial communication the following
• The amount of debt
• The name of creditor to whom the debt is owed
• That you must dispute the debt within 30 days or the courts will assume you agree to the debt
• If you dispute the debt in writing within 30 days the debt collector must verify the validity of the debt, by providing name and address of original creditor.

I have touched on some of the key points from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I hope this helps with any concerns you may have in regards to debt collection practices.

If you feel a debt collector has violated any of these laws you may contact your states attorney general office or FTC. Some states do have their own debt collection laws outside the federal laws of the FDCPA. A collection company could be violating federal law (FDCPA) and your local state debt collection laws. Your attorney general will be able to inform you of your rights.

If you are trying to get in touch with your attorney general for your state, use the Consumer Action Website at

To get in touch with the FTC to file a complaint go to:

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Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by as an informational service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each person's situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.