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Additional Fair Debt Collection Practices Act chapters

The following chapters contain general information about the fair debt collection practices act.

  1. SECTION L — Administrative Enforcement
  2. SECTION M– Reports to Congress
  3. SECTION N– Relations to State Laws
  4. SECTION O– Exemption for State Regulation
  5. — Effective Date

SECTION L — ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT

Section L provides that the principal [53 Fed. Reg. 50110] federal enforcement agency for the FDCPA is the Federal Trade Commission, but assigns enforcement power to other authorities empowered by certain federal statutes to regulate financial, agricultural, and transportation activities, where FDCPA violations relate to acts subject to those laws.

SECTION 815 — REPORTS TO CONGRESS BY COMMISSION

Section M requires the Commission to submit an annual report to Congress which discusses its enforcement and other activities administering the FDCPA, assesses the degree of compliance, and makes recommendations.

SECTION 816 — RELATIONS TO STATE LAWS

Section N provides that the FDCPA preempts state laws only to the extent that those laws are inconsistent with any provision of the FDCPA, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency. A state law is not inconsistent if it gives consumers greater protection than the FDCPA.

1. Inconsistent laws. Where a state law provides protection to the consumer equal to, or greater than, the FDCPA, it is not preempted by the federal statute.

SECTION 817 — EXEMPTION FOR STATE REGULATION

Section O orders the Commission to exempt any class of debt collection practices from the FDCPA within any state if it determines that state laws regulating those practices are substantially similar to the FDCPA, and contain adequate provision for enforcement.

1. State exemptions. A state with a debt collection law may apply to the Commission for an exemption. The Commission must grant the exemption if the state’s law is substantially similar to the FDCPA, and there is adequate provision for enforcement. The Commission has published procedures for processing such applications (16 CFR 901).

SECTION 818 — EFFECTIVE DATE

Section 818 provides that the FDCPA took effect six months from the date of its enactment.

1. Key dates. The FDCPA was approved September 20, 1977, and became effective March 20, 1978.

 
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The debt collector may just be liable to you for statutory damages of up to $1,000, plus any actual damages suffered, plus attorney fees!

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