Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was originally passed back in the United States in 1977, and has undergone multiple revisions over the years, trying to control and eliminate predatory and abusive business practice on the part of creditors and debt collectors. When banks decide they cannot collect on a debt they may sell it to a third party, who will then attempt to collect. In the past, this led to all sorts of abuse, such as harassment over the phone or in person, and going so far as to see debt collectors pretending to be law enforcement or threatening consumers with legal action they could not take.
The law is quite broad in nature and offers consumers a variety of protections regarding what debt collectors can and can’t do. It is this law that restricts phone calls from collectors to 8AM-9PM local time, limits where they can call you, gives you the right to demand evidence of the alleged debt and more. If you believe a creditor is treating you unjustly, make an appointment to talk about your situation with us. We’ll look at what the creditors are doing, and see if it is in violation of this important consumer protection act. A consumer complaint can go a long way towards controlling and stopping this behavior.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
Your credit report is one of your most important pieces of financial information, and it should be kept accurate, safe, and private. Just about all types of debts are going to impact your credit score, whether positively or negatively, therefore affecting your future chances of obtaining credit, and the rates and conditions of said credit.
In order to help protect people’s credit information and reputation, the Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed in 1970 at the Federal government level. FCRA is intended to control what credit information is collected and who has access to it, as well as forcing financial institutions to keep that information accurate. It applies to credit card companies, banks, and many other institutions where Consumer financial products and credit are issued.
Consider this example: if a creditor improperly reports anything to credit agencies, or publishes information in places where they aren’t permitted to according to Federal consumer financial laws, it can have a big impact on your bankruptcy case. Even if you’re not filing for bankruptcy, violations of the fair credit reporting act are taken very seriously and can even be used to sue the creditor in some cases.
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act is another very important piece of legislation that can come into play in some bankruptcy cases. Passed by Congress in 1974, RESPA is meant to prevent and punish abusive practices throughout the real estate settlement process, forbid kickbacks, and limit the size of escrow account requirements. Since 2011, enforcing RESPA has been the responsibility of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (also known as the Consumer protection agency).
One particularly important part of this act is the requirement obligating mortgage companies to stop foreclosure processes once a borrower completes an application for loss mitigation. The act also regulates how fees are issued during the purchase or refinancing of a home. RESPA is often overlooked in bankruptcy cases by individuals, and even by some inexperienced attorneys, but it can be very important when utilized properly.