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What is the FDCPA?
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Last Updated
18th of May, 2010

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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the federal law that defines and governs how collection agencies can operate. The law protects consumers from abusive collection practices by debt collectors (a debt collector is someone who regularly collects debts owed to others, including collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis, and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them).

The Act gives consumers protection with regards to personal, family, and household debts, including money consumers owe on a personal credit card account, auto loan, medical bill, or mortgage. The FDCPA does not cover debts that consumers incurred conducting a business.

Read the full text of the law governing third party collection of debts (.pdf file), or check out an easy-to-read FAQ about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act from the Federal Trade Commission.

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