As summarized in a separate article, Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., in 1978 for the purpose of establishing certain that ethical guidelines for the collection of consumer debts, and to provide debtors with a means for challenging payoff demands and determining the validity and accuracy of asserted debts. The FDCPA has been a well-spring for class action lawsuits since its inception, and the class action defense lawyer still confronts new twists to FDCPA claims. As a resource, we set forth the text of the FDCPA, beginning with 15 U.S.C. § 1692:
§ 1692. Congressional findings and declaration of purpose
(a) Abusive practices
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.
(b) Inadequacy of laws
Existing laws and procedures for redressing these injuries are inadequate to protect consumers.
(c) Available non-abusive collection methods
Means other than misrepresentation or other abusive debt collection practices are available for the effective collection of debts.
(d) Interstate commerce
Abusive debt collection practices are carried on to a substantial extent in interstate commerce and through means and instrumentalities of such commerce. Even where abusive debt collection practices are purely intrastate in character, they nevertheless directly affect interstate commerce.
It is the purpose of this subchapter to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.