FDCPA Updates for

Update from: October, 2000

Past Newsletter Archives:

   October 2006  April 2003 May 2002  March 2001  September 2000

  • FTC Annual Report Stresses the Importance of Industry Education

In its annual report on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Federal Trade Commission noted that the collection industry was the single largest source of consumer complaints during 1999, with over 5000 complaints made on in-house (non-third party) collectors alone. The highest volume of complaints on collection activity were received regarding:

  • Harassment or threats

  • Failure to send a proper validation notice

  • Failure to verify a disputed debt

  • Calling the consumer's place of employment when such practice was known to be prohibited

  • Third-party disclosure

  • Demand of a larger payment than allowed by law or agreement

The FTC emphasized that its first focus is on industry education--helping collectors to become more knowledgeable about compliance with the requirements of the FDCPA. For in-house collectors, the FTC indicated that it will continue to pursue enforcement under the Federal Trade Commission Act, as it did against Federated Department Stores in 1999. Expanding the scope of collection activities covered by the tenets of the FDCPA, the FTC is sponsoring legislation to clarify that "early-out " (non-default) collection activities will be covered when conducted by parties whose primary business is collections. It seems clear that it is simply smart business to insure that all collectors in contact with consumers be well educated in the requirements of the FDCPA, with regular reinforcement and on-going training.

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