Federal Trade Commission Increases Enforcement Of FDCPA

Federal Trade Commission Increases Enforcement Of FDCPA

In the last year, the Federal Trade Commission has stepped up its enforcement of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, acting on seven major debt collection cases; this information, and much more, came in the FTC's annual letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The FTC and the CFPB share federal jurisdiction for FDCPA enforcement; in 2013, both agencies plan to increase their enforcement activities.The FTC's debt collection program (accessible through the agency website) also offers education and public outreach, as well as research and policy initiative information. Charles Harwood, Acting Director of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in the letter to the CFPB, “The FTC remains vigilant in taking action against debt collectors who use illegal methods when collecting from consumers.” The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires the CFPB to to submit annual reports to Congress on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (this task used to performed by the FTC). To help the CFPB prepare its second report—due March 20, 2013—the FTC sent the CFPB a letter summarizing its recent work.The FTC has brought or concluded cases against four companies that used deceptive or abusive tactics to intimidate consumers, and against three so-called “phantom debt” collectors who attempted to collect on non-existent debts or debts not owed to them, just in the last year. In one of the most appalling cases, the FTC shut down Forensic Case Management Services, Inc., an operation which threatened bodily harm to consumers, desecration of their deceased family members, and death to their pets if they did not pay.If a collection agency has harassed you, you may be entitled to money damages up to $1,000.00, based on the FDCPA, which has been around for almost 35 years. The FDCPA is a federal law that applies to every state. In other words, everyone is protected by the FDCPA. The FDCPA is essentially a laundry list of what debt collectors can and cannot do while collecting a debt, as well as things debt collectors must do while collecting a debt. Plus, the FDCPA has a fee-shift provision. This means, the collection agency pays your attorney’s fees and costs. Founding attorney, Michael Agruss, has settled over 1,500 debt collection harassment cases. We want to help you, too. 

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