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FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT § 1692. Congressional findings and (3) The term "consumer" means any declaration of purpose natural person obligated or allegedly [Section 802 of P.L.] obligated to pay any debt. (a) There is abundant evidence of (4) The term "creditor" means any the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair person who offers or extends credit debt collection practices by many debt creating a debt or to whom a debt is collectors. Abusive debt collection owed, but such term does not include any practices contribute to the number of person to the extent that he receives an personal bankruptcies, to marital assignment or transfer of a debt in instability, to the loss of jobs, and to default solely for the purpose of invasions of individual privacy. facilitating collection of such debt for another. (b) Existing laws and procedures for redressing these injuries are (5) The term "debt" means any inadequate to protect consumers. obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a (c) Means other than transaction in which the money, property, misrepresentation or other abusive debt insurance, or services which are the collection practices are available for subject of the transaction are primarily the effective collection of debts. for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not such obligation (d) Abusive debt collection has been reduced to judgment. practices are carried on to a substantial extent in interstate commerce and through (6) The term "debt collector" means means and instrumentalities of such any person who uses any instrumentality commerce. Even where abusive debt of interstate commerce or the mails in collection practices are purely any business the principal purpose of intrastate in character, they which is the collection of any debts, or nevertheless directly affect interstate who regularly collects or attempts to commerce. collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due (e) It is the purpose of this another. Notwithstanding the exclusion subchapter to eliminate abusive debt provided by clause (F) of the last collection practices by debt collectors, sentence of this paragraph, the term to insure that those debt collectors who includes any creditor who, in the process refrain from using abusive debt of collecting his own debts, uses any collection practices are not name other than his own which would competitively disadvantaged, and to indicate that a third person is promote consistent State action to collecting or attempting to collect such protect consumers against debt collection debts. abuses. For the purpose of section 1692f(6) of this title, such term also includes any person who uses any instrumentality of § 1692a. Definitions [Section 803 of interstate commerce or the mails in any P.L.] business the principal purpose of which is the enforcement of security interests. As used in this subchapter-- The term does not include-- (1) The term "Commission" means the (A) any officer or employee of a Federal Trade Commission. creditor while, in the name of the creditor, collecting (2) The term "communication" means debts for such creditor; the conveying of information regarding a debt directly or indirectly to any person (B) any person while acting as a through any medium. debt collector for another person, both of whom are The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803-3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 email@example.com related by common ownership telephone number at such place, or his or affiliated by corporate place of employment. control, if the person acting as a debt collector does so (8) The term "State" means any only for persons to whom it State, territory, or possession of the is so related or affiliated United States, the District of Columbia, and if the principal business the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any of such person is not the political subdivision of any of the collection of debts; foregoing. (C) any officer or employee of the United States or any § 1692b. Acquisition of location State to the extent that information [Section 804 of collecting or attempting to P.L.] collect any debt is in the performance of his official Any debt collector communicating duties; with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location (D) any person while serving or information about the consumer shall-- attempting to serve legal process on any other person (1) identify himself, state that he in connection with the is confirming or correcting location judicial enforcement of any information concerning the consumer, and, debt; only if expressly requested, identify his employer; (E) any nonprofit organization which, at the request of (2) not state that such consumer consumers, performs bona fide owes any debt; consumer credit counseling and assists consumers in the (3) not communicate with any such liquidation of their debts by person more than once unless requested to receiving payments from such do so by such person or unless the debt consumers and distributing collector reasonably believes that the such amounts to creditors; earlier response of such person is and erroneous or incomplete and that such person now has correct or complete (F) any person collecting or location information; attempting to collect any debt owed or due or asserted (4) not communicate by post card; to be owed or due another to the extent such activity (i) (5) not use any language or symbol is incidental to a bona fide on any envelope or in the contents of any fiduciary obligation or a communication effected by the mails or bona fide escrow arrangement; telegram that indicates that the debt (ii) concerns a debt which collector is in the debt collection was originated by such business or that the communication person; (iii) concerns a debt relates to the collection of a debt; and which was not in default at the time it was obtained by (6) after the debt collector knows such person; or (iv) concerns the consumer is represented by an a debt obtained by such attorney with regard to the subject debt person as a secured party in and has knowledge of, or can readily a commercial credit ascertain, such attorney's name and transaction involving the address, not communicate with any person creditor. other than that attorney, unless the attorney fails to respond within a (G) Redesignated (F). reasonable period of time to communication from the debt collector. (7) The term "location information" means a consumer's place of abode and his The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803- 3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 firstname.lastname@example.org § 1692c. Communication in connection remedy, a debt collector may not with debt collection [Section communicate, in connection with the 805 of P.L.] collection of any debt, with any person other than the consumer, his attorney, a (a) Communication with the consumer consumer reporting agency if otherwise generally--Without the prior consent of permitted by law, the creditor, the the consumer given directly to the debt attorney of the creditor, or the attorney collector or the express permission of a of the debt collector. court of competent jurisdiction, a debt collector may not communicate with a (c) Ceasing communication--If a consumer in connection with the consumer notifies a debt collector in collection of any debt-- writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the (1) at any unusual time or place debt collector to cease further or a time or place known or communication with the consumer, the debt which should be known to be collector shall not communicate further inconvenient to the consumer. with the consumer with respect to such In the absence of knowledge debt, except-- of circumstances to the contrary, a debt collector (1) to advise the consumer that shall assume that the the debt collector's further convenient time for efforts are being terminated; communicating with a consumer is after 8 o'clock (2) to notify the consumer that antimeridian and before 9 the debt collector or o'clock postmeridian, local creditor may invoke specified time at the consumer's remedies which are ordinarily location; invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or (2) if the debt collector knows the consumer is represented (3) where applicable, to notify by an attorney with respect the consumer that the debt to such debt and has collector or creditor intends knowledge of, or can readily to invoke a specified remedy. ascertain, such attorney's name and address, unless the If such notice from the consumer is made attorney fails to respond by mail, notification shall be complete within a reasonable period of upon receipt. time to a communication from the debt collector or unless (d) Definitions--For the purpose of the attorney consents to this section, the term "consumer" direct communication with the includes the consumer's spouse, parent consumer; or (if the consumer is a minor), guardian, executor, or administrator. (3) at the consumer's place of employment if the debt collector knows or has reason § 1692d. Harassment or abuse [Section to know that the consumer's 806 of P.L.] employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such A debt collector may not engage in communication. any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any (b) Communication with third person in connection with the collection parties--Except as provided in section of a debt. Without limiting the general 1692b of this title, without the prior application of the foregoing, the consent of the consumer given directly to following conduct is a violation of this the debt collector, or the express section: permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary (1) The use or threat of use of to effectuate a postjudgment judicial violence or other criminal means to harm The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803- 3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 email@example.com the physical person, reputation, or implication that any individual is an property of any person. attorney or that any communication is from an attorney. (2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural (4) The representation or consequence of which is to abuse the implication that nonpayment of any debt hearer or reader. will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, (3) The publication of a list of garnishment, attachment, or sale of any consumers who allegedly refuse to pay property or wages of any person unless debts, except to a consumer reporting such action is lawful and the debt agency or to persons meeting the collector or creditor intends to take requirements of section 1681a(f) or such action. 1681b(3) of this title. (5) The threat to take any action (4) The advertisement for sale of that cannot legally be taken or that is any debt to coerce payment of the debt. not intended to be taken. (5) Causing a telephone to ring or (6) The false representation or engaging any person in telephone implication that a sale, referral, or conversation repeatedly or continuously other transfer of any interest in a debt with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass shall cause the consumer to-- any person at the called number. (A) lose any claim or defense to (6) Except as provided in section payment of the debt; or 1692b of this title, the placement of (B) become subject to any telephone calls without meaningful practice prohibited by this disclosure of the caller's identity. subchapter. (7) The false representation or § 1692e. False or misleading implication that the consumer committed representations [Section 807 any crime or other conduct in order to of P.L.] disgrace the consumer. A debt collector may not use any (8) Communicating or threatening to false, deceptive, or misleading communicate to any person credit representation or means in connection information which is known or which with the collection of any debt. Without should be known to be false, including limiting the general application of the the failure to communicate that a foregoing, the following conduct is a disputed debt is disputed. violation of this section: (9) The use or distribution of any (1) The false representation or written communication which simulates or implication that the debt collector is is falsely represented to be a document vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated authorized, issued, or approved by any with the United States or any State, court, official, or agency of the United including the use of any badge, uniform, States or any State, or which creates a or facsimile thereof. false impression as to its source, authorization, or approval. (2) The false representation of-- (10) The use of any false (A) the character, amount, or representation or deceptive means to legal status of any debt; or collect or attempt to collect any debt or (B) any services rendered or to obtain information concerning a compensation which may be consumer. lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection (11) The failure to disclose in the of a debt. initial written communication with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial (3) The false representation or communication with the consumer is oral, The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803- 3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 firstname.lastname@example.org in that initial oral communication, that or instrument not more than ten nor less the debt collector is attempting to than three business days prior to such collect a debt and that any information deposit. obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent (3) The solicitation by a debt communications that the communication is collector of any postdated check or other from a debt collector, except that this postdated payment instrument for the paragraph shall not apply to a formal purpose of threatening or instituting pleading made in connection with a legal criminal prosecution. action. (4) Depositing or threatening to (12) The false representation or deposit any postdated check or other implication that accounts have been postdated payment instrument prior to the turned over to innocent purchasers for date on such check or instrument. value. (5) Causing charges to be made to (13) The false representation or any person for communications by implication that documents are legal concealment of the true purpose of the process. communication. Such charges include, but are not limited to, collect telephone (14) The use of any business, calls and telegram fees. company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector's (6) Taking or threatening to take business, company, or organization. any nonjudicial action to effect dispossession or disablement of property (15) The false representation or if-- implication that documents are not legal process forms or do not require action by (A) there is no present right to the consumer. possession of the property claimed as collateral through (16) The false representation or an enforceable security implication that a debt collector interest; operates or is employed by a consumer reporting agency as defined by section (B) there is no present intention 1681a(f) of this title. to take possession of the property; or § 1692f. Unfair practices [Section 808 (C) the property is exempt by law of P.L.] from such dispossession or disablement. A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or (7) Communicating with a consumer attempt to collect any debt. Without regarding a debt by post card. limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a (8) Using any language or symbol, violation of this section: other than the debt collector's address, on any envelope when communicating with a (1) The collection of any amount consumer by use of the mails or by (including any interest, fee, charge, or telegram, except that a debt collector expense incidental to the principal may use his business name if such name obligation) unless such amount is does not indicate that he is in the debt expressly authorized by the agreement collection business. creating the debt or permitted by law. (2) The acceptance by a debt § 1692g. Validation of debts [Section collector from any person of a check or 809 of P.L.] other payment instrument postdated by more than five days unless such person is Notice of debt; contents notified in writing of the debt collector's intent to deposit such check (a) Within five days after the The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803- 3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 email@example.com initial communication with a consumer in name and address of the original connection with the collection of any creditor, and a copy of such verification debt, a debt collector shall, unless the or judgment, or name and address of the following information is contained in the original creditor, is mailed to the initial communication or the consumer has consumer by the debt collector. paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing-- Admission of liability (1) the amount of the debt; (c) The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt under this (2) the name of the creditor to section may not be construed by any court whom the debt is owed; as an admission of liability by the consumer. (3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, § 1692h. Multiple debts [Section 810 disputes the validity of the of P.L.] debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to If any consumer owes multiple debts be valid by the debt and makes any single payment to any debt collector; collector with respect to such debts, such debt collector may not apply such (4) a statement that if the payment to any debt which is disputed by consumer notifies the debt the consumer and, where applicable, shall collector in writing within apply such payment in accordance with the the thirty-day period that consumer's directions. the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain § 1692i. Legal actions by debt verification of the debt or a collectors [Section 811 of copy of a judgment against P.L.] the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment (a) Any debt collector who brings will be mailed to the any legal action on a debt against any consumer by the debt consumer shall-- collector; and (1) in the case of an action to (5) a statement that, upon the enforce an interest in real consumer's written request property securing the within the thirty-day period, consumer's obligation, bring the debt collector will such action only in a provide the consumer with the judicial district or similar name and address of the legal entity in which such original creditor, if real property is located; or different from the current creditor. (2) in the case of an action not described in paragraph (1), Disputed debts bring such action only in the judicial district or similar (b) If the consumer notifies the legal entity-- debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (A) in which such consumer (a) of this section that the debt, or any signed the contract portion thereof, is disputed, or that the sued upon; or consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector (B) in which such consumer shall cease collection of the debt, or resides at the any disputed portion thereof, until the commencement of the debt collector obtains verification of action. the debt or a copy of a judgment, or the The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803- 3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 firstname.lastname@example.org (b) Nothing in this subchapter other class members, shall be construed to authorize the without regard to a bringing of legal actions by debt minimum individual collectors. recovery, not to exceed the lesser of $500,000 or 1 per centum of the § 1692j. Furnishing certain deceptive net worth of the debt forms [Section 812 of P.L.] collector; and (a) It is unlawful to design, (3) in the case of any successful compile, and furnish any form knowing action to enforce the that such form would be used to create foregoing liability, the the false belief in a consumer that a costs of the action, together person other than the creditor of such with a reasonable attorney's consumer is participating in the fee as determined by the collection of or in an attempt to collect court. On a finding by the a debt such consumer allegedly owes such court that an action under creditor, when in fact such person is not this section was brought in so participating. bad faith and for the purpose of harassment, the court may (b) Any person who violates this award to the defendant section shall be liable to the same attorney's fees reasonable in extent and in the same manner as a debt relation to the work expended collector is liable under section 1692k and costs. of this title for failure to comply with a provision of this subchapter. Factors considered by court (b) In determining the amount of § 1692k. Civil liability [Section 813 liability in any action under subsection of P.L.] (a), the court shall consider, among other relevant factors-- Amount of damages (1) in any individual action (a) Except as otherwise provided by under subsection (a)(2)(A), this section, any debt collector who the frequency and persistence fails to comply with any provision of of noncompliance by the debt this subchapter with respect to any collector, the nature of such person is liable to such person in an noncompliance, and the extent amount equal to the sum of-- to which such noncompliance was intentional; or (1) any actual damage sustained by such person as a result of (2) in any class action under such failure; subsection (a)(2)(B) of this section, the frequency and (2)(A) in the case of any persistence of noncompliance action by an by the debt collector, the individual, such nature of such noncompliance, additional damages as the resources of the debt the court may allow, collector, the number of but not exceeding persons adversely affected, $1,000; or and the extent to which the debt collector's (B) in the case of a class noncompliance was action, (i) such amount intentional. for each named plaintiff as could be Intent recovered under subparagraph (A), and (c) A debt collector may not be (ii) such amount as the held liable in any action brought under court may allow for all this subchapter if the debt collector The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803- 3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 email@example.com shows by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was not intentional and Applicable provisions of law resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of (b) Compliance with any procedures reasonably adapted to avoid requirements imposed under this any such error. subchapter shall be enforced under-- Jurisdiction (1) section 8 of the Federal (d) An action to enforce any Deposit Insurance Act, in the liability created by this subchapter may case of-- be brought in any appropriate United States district court without regard to (A) national banks, and the amount in controversy, or in any Federal branches and other court of competent jurisdiction, Federal agencies of within one year from the date on which foreign banks, by the the violation occurs. Office of the Comptroller of the Advisory opinions of Commission Currency; (e) No provision of this section (B) member banks of the imposing any liability shall apply to any Federal Reserve System act done or omitted in good faith in (other than national conformity with any advisory opinion of banks), branches and the Commission, notwithstanding that agencies of foreign after such act or omission has occurred, banks (other than such opinion is amended, rescinded, or Federal branches, determined by judicial or other authority Federal agencies, and to be invalid for any reason. insured State branches of foreign banks), commercial lending § 1692l. Administrative enforcement companies owned or [Section 814 of P.L.] controlled by foreign banks, and Federal Trade Commission organizations operating under section 25 or (a) Compliance with this subchapter 25(a) of the Federal shall be enforced by the Commission, Reserve Act, by the except to the extent that enforcement of Board of Governors of the requirements imposed under this the Federal Reserve subchapter is specifically committed to System; and another agency under subsection (b) of this section. For purpose of the exercise (C) banks insured by the by the Commission of its functions and Federal Deposit powers under the Federal Trade Commission Insurance Corporation Act, a violation of this subchapter shall (other than members of be deemed an unfair or deceptive act or the Federal Reserve practice in violation of that Act. All System) and insured of the functions and powers of the State branches of Commission under the Federal Trade foreign banks, by the Commission Act are available to the Board of Directors of Commission to enforce compliance by any the Federal Deposit person with this subchapter, irrespective Insurance Corporation; of whether that person is engaged in commerce or meets any other (2) section 8 of the Federal jurisdictional tests in the Federal Trade Deposit Insurance Act [12 Commission Act, including the power to U.S.C. § 1818], by the enforce the provisions of this subchapter Director of the Office of in the same manner as if the violation Thrift Supervision, in the had been a violation of a Federal Trade case of a savings association Commission trade regulation rule. the deposits of which are The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803- 3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 firstname.lastname@example.org insured by the Federal (d) Neither the Commission nor any Deposit Insurance other agency referred to in subsection Corporation; (b) of this section may promulgate trade regulation rules or other regulations (3) the Federal Credit Union Act, with respect to the collection of debts by the National Credit Union by debt collectors as defined in this Administration with respect subchapter. to any Federal credit union; (4) subtitle IV of Title 49, by § 1692m. Reports to Congress by the the Interstate Commerce Commission [Section 815 of Commission with respect to P.L.] any common carrier subject to such subtitle; (a) Not later than one year after the effective date of this subchapter and (5) the Federal Aviation Act of at one-year intervals thereafter, the 1958, by the Secretary of Commission shall make reports to the Transportation with respect Congress concerning the administration of to any air carrier or any its functions under this subchapter, foreign air carrier subject including such recommendations as the to that Act; and Commission deems necessary or appropriate. In addition, each report of (6) the Packers and Stockyards the Commission shall include its Act, 1921 (except as provided assessment of the extent to which in section 406 of that Act), compliance with this subchapter is being by the Secretary of achieved and a summary of the enforcement Agriculture with respect to actions taken by the Commission under any activities subject to section 1692l of this title. that Act. (b) In the exercise of its The terms used in paragraph (1) that are functions under this subchapter, the not defined in this subchapter or Commission may obtain upon request the otherwise defined in section 3(s) of the views of any other Federal agency which Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. exercises enforcement functions under 1813(s)) shall have the meaning given to section 1692l of this title. them in section 1(b) of the International Banking Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3101). § 1692n. Relation to State laws Agency powers [Section 816 of P.L.] (c) For the purpose of the exercise This subchapter does not annul, by any agency referred to in subsection alter, or affect, or exempt any person (b) of this section of its powers under subject to the provisions of this any Act referred to in that subsection, a subchapter from complying with the laws violation of any requirement imposed of any State with respect to debt under this subchapter shall be deemed to collection practices, except to the be a violation of a requirement imposed extent that those laws are inconsistent under that Act. In addition to its powers with any provision of this subchapter, under any provision of law specifically and then only to the extent of the referred to in subsection (b) of this inconsistency. For purposes of this section, each of the agencies referred to section, a State law is not inconsistent in that subsection may exercise, for the with this subchapter if the protection purpose of enforcing compliance with any such law affords any consumer is greater requirement imposed under this subchapter than the protection provided by this any other authority conferred on it by subchapter. law, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section. § 1692o. Exemption for State Rules and Regulations regulation [Section 817 of The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803- 3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 email@example.com P.L.] The Commission shall by regulation exempt from the requirements of this subchapter any class of debt collection practices within any State if the Commission determines that under the law of that State that class of debt collection practices is subject to requirements substantially similar to those imposed by this subchapter, and that there is adequate provision for enforcement. The Law Office of Dale W. Pittman, The Eliza Spotswood House, 112-A West Tabb Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803- 3212, Telephone (804) 861-6000 Facsimile (804) 861-3368 firstname.lastname@example.org
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