How The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Protects Consumers

Prior to the late 1970s, debt collectors were legally allowed to pursue the money owed by consumer or commercial debtors using whatever means they deemed necessary. Recognizing the consistent use of unfair, deceptive, or abusive tactics in this endeavor, Congress changed the rules. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides consumers with several protections, including protections against certain debt recovery tactics previously used by third party collectors.


A debt collector cannot attempt to communicate with a consumer during a time which would be knowingly inconvenient for him or her. Generally, this means that it is against the law for debt collectors to contact debtors before 8:00 A.M. or after 9:00 P.M. A debt collector is also not allowed to communicate regarding the collection of a debt with anyone who is not the debtor, the debtor’s attorney, the debtor’s spouse, the creditor, the creditor’s attorney, or the debt collector’s attorney.

Harassment And Abuse

Debt collectors are not allowed to use tactics which harass, oppress, or abuse anyone connected to an outstanding consumer debt. Typically, this means that they are not allowed to make threats, use profane language, make repeated phone calls intended to annoy or harass the person at the called number, make phone calls without disclosing his or her identity, etc.

Deceptive Tactics

While pursuing the recovery of a consumer debt, a collector may not deceive or mislead anyone connected to the debt. For example, it is illegal for debt collectors to misrepresent the character, amount, or legal status of any debt, to threaten to take legal action when no such action can be taken, to falsely imply that a debtor has committed a crime in order to disgrace him or her, etc.

The experienced collection attorneys at Halpern rely on effective legal solutions to conduct our debt collection efforts in Minnesota. Contact us today, and we’ll begin our attempts at obtaining the maximum allowable recovery of the debt owed to you without ever behaving unfairly, deceptively, or abusively toward your debtor.

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