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What to do if Collectors are Violating the Fair Debt Collection Act

The first step is to call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP. The FTC may or may not do anything with the complaint. The FTC only files a few legal actions against bill collectors every year, but when they do file an action, there are usually huge monetary penalties involved.

Attached is a sample of a complaint form that can be used. A copy of the complaint should also be sent to (a) the Attorney General of whichever state the client resides in, and the state where the bill collector is located, (b) the Better Business Bureau of whichever state the bill collector’s offices are in, and (c) to the original creditor.

SAMPLE COMPLAINT TO SEND TO FTC, STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU AND ORIGINAL CREDITOR

NOTICE OF VIOLATION OF FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT

From:

____________________________
Consumer’s Name

____________________________
Consumer’s Address

____________________________
City, State, Zip Code

In Reference To:

_____________________________
Name of Offending Bill Collector

_____________________________
Company

_____________________________
Address

_____________________________
City, State, Zip

To Federal Trade Commission
To Attorney General, State of ____________________
To Better Business Bureau, State of _________________________
To _____________________________ (Original Creditor)

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the above named bill collector has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and/or the Federal Trade Commission Act, by the following:
_____ Demanding a larger payment than is permitted by law
_____ Harassing the alleged debtor or others
_____ Threatening dire consequences if consumer fails to pay
_____ Impermissible calls to consumer’s place of employment
_____ Revealing alleged debt to third parties
_____ Failing to send required consumer notice
_____ Failing to verify disputed debts
_____ Continuing to contact consumer after receiving “cease communication” notice

The particulars of said violations are as follows:
___________________________________________
(attach additional paper as needed)

CERTIFICATION OF CONSUMER

I state that I have read the foregoing, and believe the same to be true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

Dated: _______________

____________________________________
Consumer’s signature