The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has been in place to protect consumers since 1978. For too long, consumers were subjected to unfair, unethical and abusive tactics by some debt collection agencies. These agencies tarnished the public image of the entire industry and required an act of Congress to help contain.
Despite the provisions, restriction, rules and regulations the FDCPA places on the industry, those who operate above board applaud its assistance in weeding out the bad from the good.
The FDCPA does not cover debt that is applied to the collection of corporate debt or any debt owed related to business or agriculture. It does apply to personal, family or household debt incurred by consumers.
What is a debt collector? The FDCPA defines one as a person who “regularly collects, or attempts to collect, consumer debts for another person or institution or uses some name other than its own when collecting its own consumer debts.” So, if your company wants to hire a third party to collect debts on its behalf, you will be hiring a company that will be responsible for following every letter of the FDCPA.
What is a consumer? A consumer is a borrower, the barrower’s spouse, and the parent of a minor barrower, guardian, administrator or executor. A consumer can only be communicated with during the hours of 8a.m. to 9p.m. Courts and the consumer can grant permission to be contacted outside of these hours. If a debtor has hired an attorney, it is the attorney who should be contacted regarding any attempts at collecting unpaid debt. If the attorney does not respond to calls, the consumer can then be contacted.
A consumer can, under the FDCPA, request that a debt collector cease attempts at collecting debt. After such a request, the debt collector can only send notice that they will cease collection efforts.
Debt collectors cannot use harassing or abusive practices in their attempts to collect debt. For instance, a collector obviously can’t threaten violence or any harm to a person’s reputation or property. Collectors can’t use profanity or obscene language while addressing consumers. Furthermore, they can’t publish a list of debtors’ names that refuse to pay and they can’t make repeated calls or allow a telephone without an answering service to ring repeatedly.
Reputable debt collectors will not violate any of these provisions, nor will they falsely represent themselves or the debt owed to them, which is also part of the FDCPA.
The reason a debt collection agency adheres to the provision in the FDCPA are many, but include civil liabilities up to $500,000 or one percent of the debt collection company’s worth, whichever is less. Another reason debt collection agencies follow the rule of the law is because they want to keep a good public image and continue to attract clients.
Omega-RMS, llc., is a proponent of the FDCPA and strictly follows each of its rules. Omega employees are trained beyond what is required so that they can help improve the reputation of the industry and to represent clients with the best possible level of professionalism.