Debt collection continues to be a principal subject of many consumer complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission, the agency noted in its 20th Annual Report to Congress about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This law, which was passed in 1977, is one of several credit laws enforced by the Commission. Specifically, the FDCPA is intended to prevent abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices in the marketplace.
According to the Commission's report, "Such practices have been known to cause various forms of consumer injury, including emotional distress and invasions of privacy, and can severely hamper consumers' ability to function effectively at work." The report noted that while the agency has primary enforcement responsibility, it works with other federal agencies to enforce the Act and educate consumers. In addition to identifying practices that cause consumer concern, the report also highlighted the Commission's enforcement and consumer education efforts.
The Commission vote to approve the report was 5-0.
Copies of the Commission's report and other information about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.