Are Changes on the Horizon for the FDCPA?
The FDCPA has been instrumental in the protection of consumers from predatory debt collection practices. However, it is over 40 years old and many believe it is time for an update. There has been a minor change or two in the last 4 decades, but nothing that addresses the newer business practices of debt collectors. Now, creditors and collectors have the internet which gives them access to just about anyone at just about any time.
A Quick Overview of the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was designed over 40 years ago to protect individuals from predatory debt collection practices. It prevents creditors and collectors from doing things such as:
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm.
- Threatening to sue you without the intent to actually do it.
- Lying to consumers to get information from them.
- Threatening harm.
- Calling friends and family of the debtor for information.
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What Changes Need to be Made?
Well, a lot has happened since this bill was enacted. One example is the invention of the internet. Debt collectors now have the ability to find just about anyone online. They have definitely used this to their advantage by:
- Creating fake social media profiles to trick debtors and their friends/families into giving information.
- Finding people’s contact information and using it without permission.
While communication and the internet are major aspects of the FDCPA that need another look, they are not the only ones. Currently, the fine for creditors when they break some of the FDCPA rules is $1,000 which is the same as it was in the 1970s. Other major issues surround new business practices such as the sale of debt.
Because the FDCPA protects consumers from 3rd party collectors, many argue that collectors circumvent the law when they purchase the debt. When a debt is purchased, the buyer is now the owner of the debt and is no longer a 3rd party. This point is one of the more hotly contested points nationwide.
When Can We Expect the Law to Be Updated?
You may not be surprised to find out that there is a considerable amount of red tape that comes with a proposed bill overhaul. In 2013, an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) was issued to get the ball rolling. However, it is 2019 and a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPR) was just filed in March. According to insidearm.com, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is working on changes currently. They are the bureau responsible for interpreting the FDCPA and have outlined what changes they intend to make. We will see just how long it takes to implement these changes.
If you feel that you may have been illegally harassed by a debt collector, you have options. Do not be the victim. Contact Elias Dsouza to get the calls and mail stopped immediately. Elias has been assisting people like you for over 15 years.