Q What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and how does it affect my North Carolina bankruptcy case?
Individuals in North Carolina who file for bankruptcy have protections under state and federal law. Bankruptcy applicants should educate themselves on their rights under these laws. For example, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and offers protections to consumers who experience unfair practices. Although this Act is a lengthy piece of legislation, it is actually one part that was added to another Act: The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). The CCPA is regulated through the United States Department of Labor.
Items included in the FDCPA that might be helpful to bankruptcy applicants include:
- Includes definitions of harassment and abusive debt collection practices
- Prohibits bill collectors from knowingly contacting employers of debtors regarding outstanding payments
- Rules regarding communication, for example - if a collector was notified and given the debtor's attorney information, the collector should only correspond with the attorney from that point forward
Many other conditions are included in the Act as well. If you are navigating bankruptcy in North Carolina you have likely had the experience of receiving a phone call from a bill collector. Bill collectors who are found in violation of federal laws might owe debtors $1,000 per call that included a violation. Victims in North Carolina might be eligible for additional penalties on the state level.
Curious if the treatment you are receiving from debt collection services is illegal? Our bankruptcy attorneys in Raleigh and Cary offer confidential and complimentary case evaluations.