From time to time, a Guest Blogger will share voice at the New Mexico Bankruptcy Law Blog. Today, we welcome Deborah DeMack. Deborah is a former Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. A solo practitioner now in private practice in Santa Fe, NM, Ms. DeMack practices consumer law, debt collection defense, and consumer bankruptcy. She can be reached at 505.471.3302. This is part 1 of the series.
Overview: Debt Collection Abuse and the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)
In spite of federal and state law, some debt collectors continue to abuse and harass consumers to pressure them into paying debts. Some resort to scare or intimidation tactics, appearing at a consumer’s workplace, falsely threatening arrest or even violence. Others try to collect on time-barred debts, debts that have been discharged in bankruptcy or not even owed by the debtor. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) bars all forms of unfair, abusive and deceptive collection practices. It regulates debt collectors, defines and restricts abusive collection acts, and provides specific rights for consumers. In addition to the FDCPA, several states have adopted regulations and statutes mirroring much of the FDCPA. Moreover, other laws, such as the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and state Unfair Practices Acts, apply to debt collectors as well.
Next in the series is Part 2: To Whom Does the FDCPA Apply? What Debts Are Covered?