After years of widespread collection abuse and harassment by the debt collection industry, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed to ensure that consumers are treated fairly and with decency. The FDCPA restricts the behavior a debt collector (a third-party that collects debt on behalf of another) can engage in. The law prevents debt collectors from using harassing techniques, and from calling excessively or outside of allowed hours.
The FDCPA provides for damages $1,000 for each violation of the statute, plus actual damages, and attorneys’ fees. Actual damages include compensation for physical and/or emotional distress, health problems, and treatment. It also includes lost wages, and potentially the recovery of a wage check that has been garnished.