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.


  • Calls made to you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

  • Calls or letters made/sent after you have already resolved the issue

  • Calling your place of employment after you’ve told them not to

  • Revealing any information about your debt to your relatives, neighbors, or associates

  • Calling your relatives, neighbors, or associates more than once

  • Sending letters with contradictory information in order to get you to pay

  • Sending letters with confusing inaccurate amounts

  • Calls or letters that do not reveal the true creditors name

  • Misrepresenting that a lawsuit was filed or could be filed

  • Threats to add unlawful interest or penalties