FDCPA — 15 U.S. Code § 1692 – Congressional findings and declaration of purpose


This is the first section of the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). I’ve quoted the law below and my comments will be in italics and underlined.

(a) Abusive practices There is abundant evidence [not a little but a lot of evidence] of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many [not a couple but many] debt collectors. Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy. [These are 4 of the major injuries to societies as a direct result of abusive debt collection. So when debt collectors claim that what they do is no big deal, just keep in mind that is the debt collector lying. The law tells us that violating the law — abusive debt collection — is a very big deal. Bankruptcy. Divorce. Job loss. Invasion of privacy.]

(b) Inadequacy of laws Existing laws and procedures for redressing these injuries are inadequate to protect consumers. [This is certainly true in Alabama now. We can use other laws to sue abusive debt collectors but they always argue only the FDCPA should be allowed in the lawsuit. Without the FDCPA, much of the abusive debt collection would go unpunished which leads to the consequences above and is unfair to honorable law abiding debt collectors as shown in the last section below.]

(c) Available non-abusive collection methods Means other than misrepresentation or other abusive debt collection practices are available for the effective collection of debts. [This rejects the crazy argument of abusive debt collectors that they have to break the law in order to collect debt. Can you imagine that argument anywhere else? “We have to make defective cars to make money.” “We have to amputate the wrong legs in surgery to make money.” Its insane but welcome to the twisted world of abusive debt collectors.]

(d) Interstate commerce Abusive debt collection practices are carried on to a substantial extent in interstate commerce and through means and instrumentalities of such commerce. Even where abusive debt collection practices are purely intrastate in character, they nevertheless directly affect interstate commerce. [This is in here to show how the federal government has the right to regulate debt collection. If something affects “interstate commerce” then normally the federal government can regulate it.]

(e) Purposes It is the purpose [so this tells us the goals of the FDCPA] of this subchapter to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged [it is unfair for a collector to cheat and break the law when the other debt collectors are following the law — so the FDCPA protects debt collectors who play by the rules and punishes those that break the rules], and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.

If you are a victim of abusive debt collection or you simply have questions, feel free to call us at 205-879-2447 and we’ll be glad to chat with you about your questions and options.

John Watts


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