Compliance with past due receivables collection laws in a heavily-regulated industry is something we work on daily at OCI. By doing so, we protect the interests of both consumers and clients. We also adhere to ACA International’s code of ethics.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
There are nine sections in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that govern collection agency behavior.
Acquisition of Location Information
A debt collector seeking location information must identify themselves by name, but must not identify his employer unless asked. When asked, however, the collector must give the true and full name of the employer to comply with this provision and avoid violating other sections of the FDCPA
Communication in Connection with Collection
This section discusses communication between a collection agency representative and the actual consumer. Reasonable hours for asset receivables collection practices are defined as those between local business hours. Additionally, Section 805 discusses the conditions upon which an asset receivables collection agent must cease communication with the consumer, related third parties, and/or when he or she must consult with the consumer’s attorney.
Harassment or Abuse
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) says debt collectors can’t harass, oppress, or abuse you or anyone else they contact. Some examples of harassment are: Repetitious phone calls that are intended to annoy, abuse, or harass you or any person answering the phone. Obscene or profane language
False or Misleading Representations
This prohibits a collection agency from making false or misleading representation of themselves and/or the collection process. Amongst its included prohibitions are the following:
- Identifying themselves as a member of or affiliated with the United States government or fabricating documentation that might lead to such a conclusion.
- Misrepresenting themselves, the nature of their involvement, relevant information, and/or legal documentation relating to the asset receivables collection process.
- Threatening legal action to include seizure, garnishment, or sale of property that is not legally planned or possible.
- False representation that asset receivables have been turned over to innocent purchasers when they have not
Collect any interest, fee, charge or expense incidental to the principal obligation unless it was authorized by the original debt agreement or is otherwise permitted by law.
Validation of Collection
This mandates certain actions for asset receivables collection agencies to be completed in writing during or within five days of initial communication. Amongst the stated requirements are the following:
- The amount of receivable.
- The creditor’s name.
- A statement that the receivable will be assumed valid if the consumer does not dispute it within 30 days of written notice.
- A statement that the original creditor (if different than the current creditor) will be made known to the consumer within 30 days of written notice if so requested by the consumer in writing.
The debt collector must apply the payment to the account the consumer directs to be paid.
Legal Action by Collector
This specifies the venue the account must be sued in.
Furnishing Deceptive Forms
This prohibits asset receivables collection agencies from furnishing forms that insinuate persons and/or organizations other than the creditor are participating in the collection of or an attempt to collect the specified receivable when in fact such persons and/or organizations are not participating.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the HIPAA Privacy Rule to implement the requirements of HIPAA. The HIPAA Security Rule protects a subset of information covered by the Privacy Rule.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The TCPA outlines restrictions on the use of automated telephone equipment (equipment that is able to store or generate and then subsequently call telephone numbers using a random or sequential number generator).
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Act (Title VI of the Consumer Credit Protection Act) protects information collected by consumer reporting agencies such as credit bureaus, medical information companies and tenant screening services. Information in a consumer report cannot be provided to anyone who does not have a purpose specified in the Act. Companies that provide information to consumer reporting agencies also have specific legal obligations, including the duty to investigate disputed information. In addition, users of the information for credit, insurance, or employment purposes must notify the consumer when an adverse action is taken on the basis of such reports. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act added many provisions to this Act primarily relating to record accuracy and identity theft. The Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau most of the rulemaking responsibilities added to this Act by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and the Credit CARD Act, but the Commission retains all its enforcement authority.