The Ultimate Fair Debt Collection Act Quiz

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Staff

4 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

Not being able to pay a debt you have incurred can be a very unpleasant situation, and debt collection agencies might make it even worse. But what are the limits of the ways they can attempt to collect their debts? Take this quiz to see how much you know about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

As of 2007, what was the approximate average amount of consumer debt per U.S. citizen?

The total national consumer debt equaled a staggering $2.5 trillion. That is over 1/4 the amount of the U.S. national debt for the same year!

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Changes in what type of laws were responsible, in part, for the increase in U.S. consumer debt?

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 made it more difficult for individuals to declare bankruptcy. Thus, more consumer debt remained unpaid.

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Complaints against debt collection agencies was approximately how much greater in 2007 than in 1999?

With rapidly rising consumer debt, more and more debt collection agencies went into business. Complaints against such companies also increased at the same time.

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Which U.S. government agency oversees the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a U.S. government independent agency that was designed to protect consumers and prevent harmful business practices.

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In what year did the FDCPA become law?

The FDCPA was designed to protect consumers from abuse at the hands of debt collection agencies. It covers most types of personal debt.

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What rules apply to the collection practices of individual creditors?

The FDCPA only applies to debt collectors, not to the initial creditors. Such companies, such as credit card companies or auto dealers, are only bound by state laws.

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Debt collectors are prohibited by the FDCPA from contacting debtors by what means?

Though not prohibited by the FDCPA, e-mail and cell phone contact for debt collection purposes are prohibited by other federal laws.

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What is the latest that a debt collector is allowed to call you, according to the FDCPA?

The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from contacting you at inconvenient times. They can't call you before 8:00 a.m. either.

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Is a debt collector permitted to call you at work?

If debt collectors know your employer prohibits such calls, they can call you only at home.

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What are debt collectors allowed to discuss with your friends, family members or employers?

The only third party with whom a debt collector is allowed to discuss your debt is an attorney that you have hired to deal with this issue.

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What is it illegal for a debt collector to charge you for?

Debt collectors are entitled to attempt to collect the entire amount you owe, plus interest that you agreed in your initial agreement to pay. They cannot, however, charge their own interest.

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How can you legally prevent a debt collection agency from contacting you?

By law, if you request that a debt collector stop contacting you, they may only send you one more letter to say that they will stop or that they are taking legal action. This does not, however, eliminate your debt.

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How long does a debt collector have to respond to a requested debt validation?

If you dispute a debt, you have 30 days to request a debt validation. Once you do, debt collectors have the same span of time to respond.

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If you sue a collection agency and win, how much might you be entitled to?

In some circumstances, you might also be able to recoup your court costs and attorney's fees.

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What should you do to prevent future debt collection if you are the victim of identity theft?

A fraud report filed with the credit agencies can help you if anyone in the future tries to collect a debt for which you are not responsible.

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