FDCPA — Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Don’t get misled by titles. The wording of the statute clearly uses “verification” not validation. Verification generally means some sworn document or affidavit. This means when you contest the debt under FDCPA (in addition to sending a QWR) the party who is supposedly collecting or enforcing the debt has a duty to “obtain verification”. And that means they can’t verify it themselves unless they are the actual lender. And the statutes says pretty clearly that they must give the lenders name and contact information — past and present. STRATEGY: IF THEY SUPPLY SUCH A DOCUMENT, PICK UP THE PHONE AND SPEAK WITH THE PERSON WHO SIGNED IT.I CAN PRACTICALLY GUARANTEE THEY WILL DISCLAIM EVERYTHING THAT WAS IN IT AND POSSIBLY EVEN THAT THEY SIGNED IT.

15 U.S.C. 1692 ———–


Salient provisions affecting foreclosures:

§ 1692. Congressional findings and declaration of purpose

Abusive practices

There is abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors. Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy.
(b) Inadequacy of laws
Existing laws and procedures for redressing these injuries are inadequate to protect consumers.

(4) The term “creditor” means any person who offers or extends credit creating a debt or to whom a debt is owed, but such term does not include any person to the extent that he receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solely for the purpose of facilitating collection of such debt for another.
(5) The term “debt” means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance, or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.
The term “debt collector” means any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another. Notwithstanding the exclusion provided by clause (F) of the last sentence of this paragraph, the term includes any creditor who, in the process of collecting his own debts, uses any name other than his own which would indicate that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such debts.

§ 1692g. Validation of debts

(a) Notice of debt; contents
Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing—
(1) the amount of the debt;
(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
(5) a statement that, upon the consumer’s written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
(b) Disputed debts
If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) of this section that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector. Collection activities and communications that do not otherwise violate this subchapter may continue during the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unless the consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor. Any collection activities and communication during the 30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or request the name and address of the original creditor.
(c) Admission of liability
The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt under this section may not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the consumer.
(d) Legal pleadings
A communication in the form of a formal pleading in a civil action shall not be treated as an initial communication for purposes of subsection (a).
§ 1692j. Furnishing certain deceptive forms

(a) It is unlawful to design, compile, and furnish any form knowing that such form would be used to create the false belief in a consumer that a person other than the creditor of such consumer is participating in the collection of or in an attempt to collect a debt such consumer allegedly owes such creditor, when in fact such person is not so participating.
Any person who violates this section shall be liable to the same extent and in the same manner as a debt collector is liable under section 1692k of this title for failure to comply with a provision of this subchapter.

§ 1692k. Civil liability

(a) Amount of damages
Except as otherwise provided by this section, any debt collector who fails to comply with any provision of this subchapter with respect to any person is liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of—
(1) any actual damage sustained by such person as a result of such failure;
(A) in the case of any action by an individual, such additional damages as the court may allow, but not exceeding $1,000; or
(B) in the case of a class action, (i) such amount for each named plaintiff as could be recovered under subparagraph (A), and (ii) such amount as the court may allow for all other class members, without regard to a minimum individual recovery, not to exceed the lesser of $500,000 or 1 per centum of the net worth of the debt collector; and
(3) in the case of any successful action to enforce the foregoing liability, the costs of the action, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee as determined by the court. On a finding by the court that an action under this section was brought in bad faith and for the purpose of harassment, the court may award to the defendant attorney’s fees reasonable in relation to the work expended and costs.
(b) Factors considered by court
In determining the amount of liability in any action under subsection (a) of this section, the court shall consider, among other relevant factors—
(1) in any individual action under subsection (a)(2)(A) of this section, the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, and the extent to which such noncompliance was intentional; or
(2) in any class action under subsection (a)(2)(B) of this section, the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, the resources of the debt collector, the number of persons adversely affected, and the extent to which the debt collector’s noncompliance was intentional.
(c) Intent
A debt collector may not be held liable in any action brought under this subchapter if the debt collector shows by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error.
(d) Jurisdiction
An action to enforce any liability created by this subchapter may be brought in any appropriate United States district court without regard to the amount in controversy, or in any other court of competent jurisdiction, within one year from the date on which the violation occurs.
(e) Advisory opinions of Commission
No provision of this section imposing any liability shall apply to any act done or omitted in good faith in conformity with any advisory opinion of the Commission, notwithstanding that after such act or omission has occurred, such opinion is amended, rescinded, or determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason.

§ 1692n. Relation to State laws

This subchapter does not annul, alter, or affect, or exempt any person subject to the provisions of this subchapter from complying with the laws of any State with respect to debt collection practices, except to the extent that those laws are inconsistent with any provision of this subchapter, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency. For purposes of this section, a State law is not inconsistent with this subchapter if the protection such law affords any consumer is greater than the protection provided by this subchapter.

§ 1692o. Exemption for State regulation

The Commission shall by regulation exempt from the requirements of this subchapter any class of debt collection practices within any State if the Commission determines that under the law of that State that class of debt collection practices is subject to requirements substantially similar to those imposed by this subchapter, and that there is adequate provision for enforcement.

9 Responses

  1. […] Oct Posted on June 29, 2009 by Neil Garfield Don’t get misled by titles. The wording of the statute […]

  2. We just started to work with NACA to try and save our house and am wondering what you think of them? Also is it normal for them to ask what religion we are I would think that this should not matter if this is something that is not what I should be asking you I am sorry but am seeking answers to my questions and was referred to your site. Thank you Sincerely Janet M Henry

  3. I think you’ll find the wording is actually “verify the validity of the debt”.

  4. Under RESPA, you can send them a letter or notice of isificient validation, and challenge the trustee’s standing on the foreclosure proceeding.

    You must send every letter certified mail return receipt requested and send it to every one. You may even go as far as to file it into the land records, That will cloud the title for them and will force an action to quiet title.

    However you will be better served to hire a lawyer and have them assist Mr. Garfields seminar, and you better be on top of your case.

  5. § 808. Unfair practices
    A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
    (1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.
    (2) The acceptance by a debt collector from any person of a check or other payment instrument postdated by more than five days unless such person is notified in writing of the debt collector’s intent to deposit such check or instrument not more than ten nor less than three business days prior to such deposit.
    (3) The solicitation by a debt collector of any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument for the purpose of threatening or instituting criminal prosecution.
    (4) Depositing or threatening to deposit any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument prior to the date on such check or instrument.
    (5) Causing charges to be made to any person for communications by concealment of the true propose of the communication. Such charges include, but are not limited to, collect telephone calls and telegram fees.
    (6) Taking or threatening to take any nonjudicial action to effect dispossession or disablement of property if—
    (A) there is no present right to possession of the property claimed as collateral through an enforceable security interest;
    (B) there is no present intention to take possession of the property; or
    (C) the property is exempt by law from such dispossession or disablement.

  6. you can threaten them with a federal lawsuit if they do not answer you qwr. but if they continue to refuse, that is about the only thing you can do. you also may able to file in state court not sure about your state.

  7. The enforcement is in the courts, if you think that these crooks are going to bend over and give you what you need to nail them, I am sorry but you are being naive. They have years and millions of dollars spent on lawyers that have shaped their systems in such a way that the feel above the law. They think you will give up. They want you to run for the hills.

    Well don’t, The more you and your lawyer press the less space they have to move, look at this web site, they are telling you that if you fight you may get the spoils of war. Borrowers, stop thinking that you need to be a nice guy and things will happen, forget about it. You must be relentless, you must act like a badger fight until the sweet victory is at hand.

    The courts are the answer, if the servicer, lender or investor does not answer the QWR, sue them for failure to comply with federal law, they have opened the door for you. I really believe that lawyers must start thinking outside the box.

    What makes a lawyer think that friendly negotiations with these criminals will work???. They ruined our economy, they got bailed out, they are stealing from you, your clients and the nation and you feel that being nice will get you somewhere.

    This is a financial war, this is live or die. They lied to you , to your families, and they continue to do so. You should talk to your neighbors, friends, family. Share the information being given to you here. Pay it forward. Get a great group of lawyers wiling to work together. I feel very sorry for those lawyers that think that by not sharing their lawyering techniques with other lawyers.

    The secret is getting them into the court house, and compel discovery. Lawyers that avoid going to court in my humble opinion are stealing their clients money and breaking to code of ethics.

    You do not need to be a genius, you just need to do everything by the book and as Mr. Garfield says, challenge everything, they cheated the system by lying to everyone, they will, forge, cheat, lie and steal to get your house.

    Fight, just Fight!!!

  8. Exactly…how can they get away with not answering the QWR? What can we send to them in response to thier no response?

  9. Who enforces the FDCPA? Wells Fargo refused to answer any of the questions in the QWR, nor address the claims made. They just filed a foreclosure. Where is the enforcement? Certainly not at the local level.

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