The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a bulletin (CFPB Bulletin 2013-07) detailing conduct by debt collectors that constitutes an unfair, deceptive or abusive act or practice under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DFA). The “abusive” element was added by DFA to the traditional unfair and deceptive acts or practices standard established under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Here is how the bulletin defined an abusive act or practice by a debt collector:
An act or practice is abusive if:
1) it materially interferes with the ability of a consumer to understand a term or condition of a consumer financial product or service; or
2) takes unreasonable advantage of:
a) A lack of understanding on the part of the consumer of the material risks, costs, or conditions of the product or service;
b) The inability of the consumer to protect its interests in selecting or using a consumer financial product or service; or
c) The reasonable reliance by the consumer on a covered person to act in the interests of the consumer.
For more information: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e87a0ea9-1291-47ce-a30f-72ea55726645
If you believe you are the victim of debt collector abuse, contact a qualified debt settlement attorney who can protect you from further abuse, advise you of your rights under the DFA, and negotiate with the collectors to obtain large reductions in your debt.