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Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: Federal Trade Commission Annual Report 2009
The Fed. Trade Comm. (FTC) submits to Congress this annual report summarizing the administrative and enforcement actions ithas taken under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA” or “Act”) during the past year. These actions are part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to curtail deceptive, unfair, and abusive debt collection practices in the marketplace. Such practices cause substantial consumer injury, including payment of amounts not owed, unintended waivers of rights, invasions of privacy, and emotional distress. In some circumstances, illegal collection practices can place consumers deeper in debt. The FDCPA prohibits deceptive, unfair, and abusive practices by third-party collectors. For the most part, creditors are exempt when they are collecting their own debts. The FDCPA permits reasonable collection efforts that promote repayment of legitimate debts, and the FTC’s goal is to ensure compliance with the Act without unreasonably impeding the collection process. The FTC recognizes that the timely payment of debts is important to creditors and that the debt collection industry assists creditors in collecting what they are owed. The FTC also appreciates the need to protect consumers from those debt collectors who engage in deceptive, unfair, and abusive collection practices. The FTC is vested with primary enforcement responsibility under the FDCPA. However, it shares overall enforcement responsibility with other fed. agencies. In addition, consumers who believe they have been victims of violations of the FDCPA may seek relief in state or fed. court.
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