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NCJ Number: 66339 Find in a Library
Title: NEWEST CONSUMER LEGISLATION - THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT
Journal: JOURNAL OF THE KANSAS BAR ASSOCIATION  Volume:47  Dated:(SUMMER 1978)  Pages:121-128
Author(s): C KENNEDY
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PROVISIONS OF THE 1977 FEDERAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT ARE SUMMARIZED.
Abstract: ON MARCH 20, 1978, THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT BECAME EFFECTIVE, WITH THE EXCEPTION THAT DEBT COLLECTORS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO VALIDATE DEBTS WHERE THE INITIAL COLLECTION PROCEEDINGS COMMENCED PRIOR TO MARCH 20, 1978. AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF TESTIMONY OF HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, AND PRIVACY INVASIONS BY DEBT COLLECTION AGENCIES, THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT AIMS AT DETERRING AND PROVIDING LITIGATION REMEDIES FOR COLLECTION AGENCY TACTICS DEEMED TO CONSTITUTE ABUSIVE TREATMENT OF THE CONSUMER. THE STATUTE OUTLAWS CERTAIN TACTICS AND PROVIDES PRECISE INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW DEBT COLLECTORS ARE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DEBTORS AND THIRD PARTIES FROM WHOM THE COLLECTOR MAY BE SEEKING INFORMATION ABOUT THE DEBTOR. MISREPRESENTATION, DECEIT, HARASSMENT, AND UNFAIR PRACTICES ARE CLEARLY DEFINED. THE ACT ALSO DEALS WITH THE SITUATION WHERE A CONSUMER HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH AN INVALID DEBT BY PRESCRIBING PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED BY BOTH THE ALLEGED DEBTOR AND THE DEBT COLLECTOR IN AN ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE THE DISPUTE. CIVIL LIABILITY IS INCURRED THROUGH VIOLATIONS, WITH DEBT COLLECTOR'S LIABILITIES CONSISTING OF ACTUAL DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY THE PLAINTIFF, PLUS EXEMPLARY DAMAGES TO BE DETERMINED BY THE COURT, NOT TO EXCEED $1,000. ALLOWABLE DEFENSES ARE DESCRIBED IN THE ACT. THE ACT IS ADMINISTERED AND ENFORCED BY THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION.
Index Term(s): Consumer protection laws; Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; Federal law violations
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