Start My Answer

FDCPA Violations List

Sarah Edwards | January 24, 2023

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Edwards is a professional researcher and writer specializing in legal content. An Emerson College alumna, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the prestigious Boston institution.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Don't put up with abusive debt collectors.

Summary: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) exists to protect consumers from abusive and harassing actions by debt collectors. Congress initially passed the FDCPA in 1977, but it’s gone through several amendments to provide more safeguards. In this article, SoloSuit provides an FDCPA violations list of common mistakes made by debt collectors and how you can report such violations.

The FDCPA is a comprehensive piece of legislation that sets rules for communications between debt collectors and consumers. All debt collectors must adhere to this law. If their actions violate any of its provisions, consumers can file a complaint against them and potentially receive compensation.

It’s essential to report a violation of the FDCPA to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) immediately. That way, the FTC can investigate and request the debt collector stop their illegal activities. Your report can protect you and other consumers.

Facing a debt lawsuit? Settle your debt quickly with SoloSettle’s help.

Look out for these common FDCPA violations

We’ve prepared an FDCPA violations list you should be aware of when communicating with a debt collector at any stage of the debt collection process.

A debt collector is in violation of the FDCPA if they:

  • Call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Call you at work when your employer prohibits such communication
  • Tell your family or friends that you owe a debt
  • Continue to contact you when you have explicitly asked them not to
  • Take actions considered harassment or abuse under the FDCPA
  • Claim they will sell your debt in order to coerce you to pay
  • Cause your phone to ring repeatedly with the intent to annoy
  • Fail to disclose that they are a debt collector
  • Make false claims about who they are
  • Threaten to seize your house or other property
  • Threaten to take legal action that they cannot, or do not plan to, take

Below, we will break down each of these FDCPA violations in detail.Debt collectors cannot call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

Under 15 U.S.C. § 805 (a)(1), debt collectors cannot call you at an unusual time. The law specifies that debt collectors must assume your appropriate contact hours are after 8 a.m. or before 9 p.m. in your time zone.

If your debt collector begins calling you at 7:30 a.m. or 10 p.m., you can file a complaint. An exception will apply if you’re currently traveling outside your usual time zone. The creditor wouldn’t have a way of knowing that.

Debt collectors cannot call you at work when your employer asks them not to

Your workplace expects you to spend your time doing your job, not resolving personal issues. However, some creditors will contact you at your place of employment if they discover where you work.

The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from contacting you at work if you tell them your employer doesn’t want the calls. You can reference 15 U.S.C. § 805 (a)(3) in your complaint.

Debt collectors cannot tell your family or friends you owe a debt

Under 15 U.S.C. § 805 (b), debt collectors cannot tell other people you owe a debt, including your spouse, best friend, or child. The only exceptions to this rule are your attorney (if you have one) or a credit reporting agency. They can also communicate the facts of your debt to their own attorneys.

Thus, if your teenager tells you that ABC Bank called and said you owed them money, you have the right to complain to the FTC.

Debt collectors cannot continue to contact you when you ask them not to

You have the right to ask a debt collector to stop calling you and sending you letters or emails. If you ask for no contact, you must do so via a written note, per 15 U.S.C. § 805 (c).

Your debt collector must comply with your request. However, they can reinitiate contact if they intend to take further actions against you, like filing a legal Complaint.

Debt collectors cannot take actions considered harassment or abuse under the FDCPA

Debt collectors cannot take actions that are abusive or harassing against consumers. Under 15 U.S.C. § 806, these activities are illegal:

  • Threatening to use violence or other criminal means to harm you, your reputation, or your property
  • Using obscene or foul language when communicating with you
  • Publishing a list of your outstanding debts where the general public can read it
  • Advertising the sale of your debt to get you to pay it
  • Repeatedly calling you throughout the day to harass you or other people at your location
  • Calling you and failing to identify who they are properly

All these actions are on the FDCPA violations list, and you’ll need to report them.

Let’s consider an example.

Example: Jane owes her credit card company, Free for All Finance, $500. She stopped making payments when she lost her job. Free for All Finance decides to harass Jane until she pays up. Since the company is a little crazy, it asks all its collectors to call Jane and scream obscenities at her at least once daily. After the third call from Free for All Finance, Jane files a complaint with the FTC. The FTC conducts an investigation, then fines Free for All Finance $1,000 for each time it called Jane.

Debt collectors cannot advertise to sell your debt in order to coerce you to pay it

15 U.S.C. § 806(4) states that debt collectors are prohibited from threatening to sell your debt to another debt collection agency or organization in order to pressure you into paying it off to them.

Debt collectors cannot cause your phone to ring repeatedly with the intent to annoy

According to 15 U.S.C. § 806(5), it is considered harassment for a debt collector to call your phone repeatedly, even if you answer, with the underlying intent to annoy or abuse. There are also laws against robocalling, which often involves receiving a pre-recorded voicemail from a debt collection agency.

Debt collectors must disclose who they are

Whenever a debt collector contacts you, whether it be in writing, over the phone, over social media, email or in person, they must disclose that they are a debt collector and they are contacting you for the purpose of collecting a debt. This law is clearly stated in 15 U.S.C. § 806(6).

Debt collectors cannot make false claims about who they are

When communicating with you about a debt, collectors must be very careful. They can’t pretend to be someone else, such as a law enforcement agent. They also can’t pretend to be affiliated with the government in any way.

If you receive a letter from a debt collector on a form that looks like a legal process, be very wary. Under 15 U.S.C. § 807, creditors must be clear about their identities and can’t act under the pretense of the law.

Debt collectors cannot threaten to seize your house or other property

Debt collectors cannot make threats to which they don’t have the legal right. If your house or other property doesn’t secure your debt, they can’t threaten to seize them. Doing so is a violation of 15 U.S.C. § 808(6).

If your debt collector insinuates that they will take your property if you don’t pay your bill, be very careful. Inform the collector that they don’t have the right to say that to you, then file a complaint.

Debt collectors can be scary, but they must obey the law

Receiving calls from a debt collector can be anxiety-provoking. You don’t want your collector to report you to the credit reporting bureaus or sue you for your debt. Pay close attention to how the collector communicates with you. If their actions are FDCPA violations, protect your rights and file a complaint with the FTC.

SoloSuit can help you fight off debt collectors

It doesn’t matter where you find yourself in the debt collection process; SoloSuit can help.

When debt collectors first start calling, you can fight them off by sending a Debt Validation Letter. This document forces collectors to prove that the debt is valid before they can continue contacting you or take you to court for it.

If you’ve already been sued for a debt, you can respond to your lawsuit with SoloSuit’s Answer form. This form includes sections for you to respond to all the claims against you and list your affirmative defenses. On top of this, SoloSuit can help you file your Answer in all 50 states so you don’t have to worry about it.

Perhaps you know that you owe the debt. Maybe you even have some funds saved up to pay off a portion of it, or all of it, right now. If this is the case for you, consider reaching out to the debt collectors’ attorney to discuss a debt settlement offer. SoloSettle helps you send and receive settlement offers so you don’t have to deal with collectors directly.

Knowing your rights is important when it comes to battling debt collectors at their own game. But consumers, like you, can fight back and win in and out of court.

Check out this video to learn more:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

Respond with SoloSuit

Get Started

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.

We have answers

Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now are are just look for support, we're here for you.

Get Started

Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court

Not sued yet?

Use our Debt Validation Letter.

Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.

Let's Do It

It only takes 15 minutes.

And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.

"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" - Heather

Get Started