THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT

THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT
As amended by Pub. L. 109-351, §§ 801-02, 120 Stat. 1966 (2006)
As a public service, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prepared the following complete text of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p.
Please note that the format of the text differs in minor ways from the U.S. Code and West’s U.S. Code Annotated. For example, this version uses FDCPA section numbers in the headings. In addition, the relevant U.S. Code citation is included with each section heading. Although the staff has made every effort to transcribe the statutory material accurately, this compendium is intended as a convenience for the public and not a substitute for the text in the U.S. Code.
Table of Contents
§ 801 Short title
§ 802 Congressional findings and declaration of purpose
§ 803 Definitions
§ 804 Acquisition of location information
§ 805 Communication in connection with debt collection
§ 806 Harassment or abuse
§ 807 False or misleading representations
§ 808 Unfair practices
§ 809 Validation of debts
§ 810 Multiple debts
§ 811 Legal actions by debt collectors
§ 812 Furnishing certain deceptive forms
§ 813 Civil liability
§ 814 Administrative enforcement
§ 815 Reports to Congress by the Commission
§ 816 Relation to State laws
§ 817 Exemption for State regulation
§ 818 Exception for certain bad check enforcement programs operated by private entities
§ 819 Effective date
2
§ 801 15 USC 1601 note
§ 801. Short Title
This title may be cited as the “Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act.”
§ 802. Congressional findings and declaration of purpose
(a) 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) Existing laws and procedures for redressing these injuries are inadequate to protect consumers.
(c) Means other than misrepresentation or other abusive debt collection practices are available for the effective collection
of debts.
(d) Abusive debt collection practices are carried on to a substantial
extent in interstate commerce and through means and instrumentalities of such commerce. Even where abusive debt collection practices are purely intrastate in character, they nevertheless directly affect interstate commerce.
(e) It is the purpose of this title to eliminate abusive debt collection
practices by debt collectors, to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection
practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.
§ 803. Definitions
As used in this title—
(1) The term “Commission” means the Federal Trade Commission.
(2) The term “communication” means the conveying of information regarding a debt directly or indirectly to any person through any medium.
(3) The term “consumer” means any natural person obligated
or allegedly obligated to pay any debt.
15 USC 1601 note
15 USC 1692
15 USC 1692a
3
§ 803 15 USC 1692a
(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.
(6) 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. For the purpose of section 808(6), such term also includes any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the enforcement of security interests. The term does not include—
(A) any officer or employee of a creditor while, in the name of the creditor, collecting debts for such creditor;
(B) any person while acting as a debt collector for another person, both of whom are related by common
ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if the person acting as a debt collector does so only
4
§ 803 15 USC 1692a

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