What is the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act?

The primary federal law regulating debt collectors is the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. This law imposes obligations and standards of conduct upon those who collect debts. This 1977 law amended the Consumer Credit Protection Act to prohibit certain conduct by debt collectors. The U.S. Congress noted the purpose of the law in its findings: 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.