How the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Helps You The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which is more commonly referred to as the FDCPA, is a statute in the United States that is designed to protect consumers who have creditors who are attempting to collect a debt from them. This act has several important features that are designed to accomplish this. You should be aware of these. One outstanding feature of the FDCPA is to provide consumers with a mechanism of disputing debts that they don't feel they are responsible for. It also provides a convenient way for consumers to keep track of debts that they ARE responsible for. It is helpful to know that there are strict penalties that can be ascribed to companies who break the fair debt collection act. There are many activities that are not allowed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. For example, creditor harassment is actually defined and prohibited under the act. One common practice that is considered harassment is when the creditor contacts the consumer after they have provided written notice that they do not wish to be further contacted or that they have no intention of paying the debt. Another example of creditor harassment is contacting the debtor at their place of employment or business after the creditor has been informed in writing by the debtor that they do not wish to be contacted while they are at work. Calling the consumer repeatedly in a way that is intended to annoy, abuse or otherwise harass the consumer is also strictly prohibited. If you, as the debtor, have an attorney representing you, the creditor or collection agency cannot contact you directly without violating the act. There are also specific hours set up within which a creditor can contact a debtor. If attempts at contact are made outside of these hours, the creditor is in violation of the act. Creditors are also banned from publishing the consumers name on a 'debt list'. Likewise if the creditor insists on contacting the consumer after the consumer has asked for validation of the debt or uses abusive or profane language, they are in contravention of the act.