Debts Covered By The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
There are several requirements that a debt must meet before it becomes governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:
- The debt must be a consumer debt that was incurred for personal, household or family reasons. For example: Medical debt incurred because of a spouse's illness would meet this criterion; however, medical debt incurred because of an employee's accident would not meet this criteria.
- Debts that are being handled by a debt collector and not the original creditor would be governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. For example: If you have a credit card that went delinquent for six months, it has probably been sold to a debt collection agency. If so, that debt would meet this criterion.
- The person who owes the debt must be in fact "a person" not a business. For example, if you ran a construction business and you did not repay a supply credit line, that debt would not be covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. But on the other hand, if you are a sole proprietor with a credit line under your personal credit (which is often the case) that debt would be governed by this act.
- The debt collector must have committed some type of violation against the debtor such as, saying something that is untrue, being unfair, disrespectful or behaving in a way that demeans the debtor before it will come under the auspices of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. For example: If any of the violations listed below are committed by the debt collector, they are in violation of the law:
- Speaking about the debtor's debt with family members, friends or other unauthorized persons.
- Threatening to have the debtor arrested if they don't pay the debt immediately.
- Cursing, yelling and verbally or physically harassing or hurting the debtor.