The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
By Richard Paul Ormond
Many landlords and management companies are losing thousands of dollars due to their failure to establish a sound debt collection policy.
It is not uncommon for a landlord to find himself or herself in a dispute over a bill with a former tenant. This is especially common when the landlord claims that the damage to the property rented exceeds the amount of the tenant’s security deposit or when a lease is terminated prematurely by a tenant, triggering a cancellation fee in the lease agreement.
In 1977, Congress passed a law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “Act”) to protect consumers from overzealous bill collectors. Serious debate exists as to whether the Act does too much or too little to protect consumers from questionable collection practices.