FDCPA and CFDCPA – Brief Overview

The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act is mirrored in the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Both acts apply to “consumer debt” and are intended to eliminate “abusive, deceptive and unfair” practices. Both acts clearly outline prohibited conduct and provide the injured consumer with redress. Both the FDCPA and CFDCPA have influence the collection practices industry in the collection of “commercial debt” especially given the breadth of definition of a “consumer” as any natural person obligated or allegedly obligated to pay any debt. 15 U.S.C. 1692a(3) and 12-14-103(4), C.R.S.

We will begin with the definitions sections of both statutes. The CFDCPA also applies to collection of child support under §12-14.1.103, C.R.S.

Definitions. Debt (Federal) – “means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance, or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.” 15 U.S.C. §1692a(5) and

Debt (Colorado) – “means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.” §12-14-103(6)(a), C.R.S.

Debt collector (Federal) – “any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purposes of which is the collection of debts or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.” 15 U.S.C. §1692a(6). Note: The definition includes attorneys, law firms, private investigators employed by debt collectors and collection agencies.

Debt collector (Colorado) – “means any person employed or engaged by a collection agency to perform the collection of debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another, and includes any person employed by the department of personnel, or any division of said department, when collecting debts due to the state on behalf of another state agency.” §12-14-103(7), C.R.S.

Tune in next week on what condcut is allowed to collect a debt!

Copyright 2013. Jean C. Arnold, Esq.

Collections

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