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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

I am not an attorney, I am a judgment referral specialist (Judgment Broker). The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) are a body of laws determining (among other things) how one may communicate with debtors.

The FDCPA is both a guide and a code of behavior for debt collectors. Generally, the FDCPA protects debtors from creditors, and gives debtors rights and remedies for all creditor violations.

As with many laws, the complete set of FDCPA laws is massive and hard to read. Some of the most important parts are that creditors must be careful not to tell people about the judgment debtor's debt.

One must avoid any form of improper disclosures. You can tell the debtor's spouse as per "section 805". However, you cannot tell someone's boss the debtor owes a debt, and you cannot put "debt or judgment collector" on envelopes mailed to the debtor, etc.

Another important section of the FDCPA laws specify that you can not threaten (or even mention to a debtor) any action that you are not fully ready and legally able to make happen. For example, you cannot tell the debtor that they may lose their house, unless you really can and will cause that to occur.

Some Judgment Enforcers debate that when one buys a judgment and enforces it, they are not a 3rd-party debt collector, and do not have to be concerned following any FDCPA laws.

However, most Judgment Enforcers follow the FDCPA laws because they are generally common sense, are somewhat vague, and the penalties for not following FDCPA laws can be severe.

Also, sometimes what you do and call yourself does not matter; the laws still apply to you, even if you think they do not.

That said, I think the FDCPA laws may hurt debtors, because it can prevent them from "smelling the coffee" and paying, before a more drastic thing happens. The FDCPA laws sometimes hurt the consumers (debtors) they were intended to protect.

As an example, a Judgment Enforcer can have the sheriff seize and sell a judgment debtor's car with no prior notice to the judgment debtor. In some states, when this is done, the creditor gets the vehicle, and the debtor still must pay off the vehicle loan!

The FDCPA laws prevent one from calling the debtor and communicating anything remotely close to "it would be in your best interest to work out a payment arrangement with me. If you do not, something very bad is going to happen in the next few weeks". This may completely true, but communicating that can be considered a "threat" under the FDCPA laws.

If one communicates to a judgment debtor "if they do not start paying, you are going to have the sheriff take their car and sell it", the judgment debtor will probably hide their car. Many times, such wordings may cause most debtors to set up a payment plan to avoid having their vehicle seized. However, in some cases, such wordings may be used by the judgment debtor against you, alleging FDCPA violations.

According to the FDCPA, Judgment Enforcers are better off simply having the sheriff seize the judgment debtor's vehicle one day by surprise, than to use this potential possibility to encourage the judgment debtor to "smell the coffee" and set up a payment plan.

About Author Mark Shapiro :

Mark D. Shapiro - Judgment Referral Expert&nbsp; - <a href="" target="_blank"></a> - where Judgments go to get Purchased or Enforced!

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Article Added on Friday, April 15, 2011
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