The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – Little Known Facts

03 Jul The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – Little Known Facts

Some interesting facts are mentioned about the FDCPA in “Collecting Consumer Debt in America” by Robert M. Hunt in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Second Quarter 2007 Economic Research. In no particular order:

– It passed in 1977 by only one vote in the House of Representatives.

– Only debt collectors are covered, and not creditors themselves. Depending on the voting congressmember, reasons for this include: (1) Creditor banks had a stronger lobby which might have succeeded in denying passage, (2) There was a sense that only collection agencies were abusive, (3) The Federal Trade Commission felt that existing regulations were sufficient to regulate creditor banks but not fly-by-night collection agencies, (4) Creditor banks were already heavily regulated, (5) At that time, most lending was done by creditors in the same state as the borrower and home state law could sufficiently regulate the lenders, and (6) Creditor banks were less likely to use aggressive practices and lose future business from the borrower or other potential borrowers.

– Today, 30 states including Massachusetts have passed laws which also regulate creditors themselves.

– Debt collection complaints to the Federal Trade Commission have increased six-fold over the past eight years, from about 15,000 in 1999 to about 90,000 in 2006.

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and related consumer protection litigation such as credit card defenses and suing debt collectors. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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