Frequently Asked Consumer Defense Questions
What is consumer defense?
Consumer defense is a broad category that encompasses many areas of law.
In general, it is the field of law devoted to protecting
the rights of consumers and preventing abusive behavior by creditors.
What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that was enacted in 1978. It prohibits debt collectors
from engaging in deceptive, unfair, and misleading conduct. It also prohibits
debt collectors from communicating with anyone other than the debtor.
The FDCPA does not apply to all collection activity. For instance, if
Capital One is collecting a debt in its own name, it is not subject to
the FDCPA's provisions. However, if ABC Collection Services is collecting
a debt on behalf of Capital One, ABC would be subject to the FDCPA.
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that was enacted
in 1970. It is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and also provides
for private lawsuits to be brought by individual consumers. The FCRA governs
the conduct of credit reporting bureaus (e.g. Equifax, TransUnion, Experian)
and the process for disputing inaccurate or false entries on an individual
consumer's credit report. The FCRA also regulates the ways in which
consumer credit reports may be used and disclosed.
What is an adversary proceeding?
An adversary proceeding is a lawsuit that takes place within an existing
bankruptcy case. Most adversary proceedings involve violations of the automatic stay and
the bankruptcy discharge. Consumers seeking protection under the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code can.
Can debt collectors contact my employer?
Debt collectors are prohibited from discussing your debts with unauthorized
third parties. Debt collectors can call you at work, but they cannot identify
themselves as debt collectors to anyone but you. If a debt collector calls
your employer and states that he is calling to collect a debt that you
owe, or identifies himself as a debt collector when asking to speak with
you, that debt collector has violated the FDCPA.
Can debt collectors contact me if I have an attorney?
If you or your attorney notifies a debt collector your attorney is the
sole contact for that debt collector, then the debt collector is prohibited
from making further contact with you. If the debt collector continues
to call you, that is a violation of the FDCPA.
What are debt collectors prohibited from doing when they call me?
Debt collectors cannot threaten you or use profane language. Debt collectors
are not allowed to say things like, "I'll have you arrested if
you don't pay this debt," because they cannot threaten you with
consequences that aren't remotely possible. Debt collectors must identify
themselves as debt collectors when they contact you.
How can I get inaccurate information removed from my credit report?
In order to remove inaccurate information from your credit report, you
must first contact the credit reporting bureau. It is always better to
send physical mail to the bureau. This is because it is easier to prove
that you disputed the inaccurate entry. You should also include supporting
documents that demonstrate how the entry is inaccurate. The FCRA requires
credit reporting bureaus to fully investigate all disputes. If a creditor
continues to report inaccurate information, you may have a claim against