Saturday, June 15, 2013
This post aims to give you a general answer to this very common question. In general, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers from a wide range of abusive, harassing and misleading actions by debt collectors.
As its name implies, the FDPCA generally applies only to “debt collectors” and not to original creditors. Therefore, if you have a credit card from a company such as Capital One, and Capital One calls you at midnight trying to collect the debt (which is not allowed by the FDCPA), Capital One would most likely not subject to the FDCPA because they are the original creditor. On the other hand, if John Smith Collection Company called you at midnight, trying to collect the Capital One debt, John Smith Collection Company most likely would be subject to the FDCPA, because they are a debt collector.
Just because the FDCPA doesn’t cover original creditors, doesn’t mean that original creditors can do anything that they want to try to collect from consumers. Many states have laws aimed at protecting consumers from original creditors. In Kentucky, this law is called the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act (KRS § 367.110), and it protects consumers from "unfair, false, misleading or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce." KRS § 367.170.
If you feel that you are being harassed by debt collectors or original creditors, you should review your rights under the FDCPA and the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act to determine whether they are violating the law.