I'm not an attorney, I'm a judgment referral specialist (Judgment Broker). The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) are the body of laws determining (and other things) the way creditors should communicate with their judgment debtors.
FDCPA laws are a guideline and a set of laws behavior of those that collect debts. Generally, the FDCPA laws protects judgment debtors from any judgment creditors, and offers judgment debtors remedies and rights for all judgment creditor violations.
Just like many laws, the complete set of FDCPA laws are lengthy and difficult to understand. Some of the more important sections are that judgment creditors should take care to not disclose to others about the debtor's debt.
You should avoid all forms of improper disclosures. One may inform the debtor's spouse because of section 805. However, one may not inform a debtor's employer the debtor owes the debt, and one may not write "judgment collector or debt" on envelopes you mail to debtor, etc.
One more important section of the FDCPA specify that one may not threaten (or even tell your debtor) any actions that you're not legally able and fully ready make happen. For example, one can't tell a debtor that they might lose their house, unless you really will and can make that occur.
Certain judgment recovery specialists argue that when someone purchases a judgment and then recovers it, they are not a 3rd-party debt collector, and do not have to be concerned following any FDCPA laws.
However, the majority of judgment recovery specialists always follow the FDCPA laws because they are usually common sense, are arguably vague, and the penalties for not following FDCPA laws may be severe.
Also, often what you do and call yourself; doesn't matter, the laws will still apply (often as the complaint of the debtor's attorney) to you, even if you think they don't.
That said, I think FDCPA laws may hurt debtors, because they may prevent them from "smelling the coffee" and paying, before a more serious recovery remedy is taken. FDCPA laws can hurts the consumers (debtors) the FDCDA was designed to protect.
As an example, some Judgment Recovery Specialist could arrange to have their sheriff levy and auction off the debtor's vehicle without any prior notice to the debtor. In certain states, when that happens, the judgment creditor gets the vehicle, and that debtor still must repay the vehicle loan
The FDCPA stops you from contacting the debtor and communicating anything remotely close to "it would be smart to work out some repayment arrangement with me. If you don't, something very bad will happen to you soon". This may true, however saying that can be considered a threat under FDCPA.
If one communicates to the debtor "if they don't begin paying, you're going to pay a sheriff seize their vehicle and then sell it", the debtor may conceal their vehicle. Often,, such wordings may cause many debtors to arrange a repayment plan to avoid having their vehicle levied. However, in certain situations, such wordings may be used by the judgment debtor against you, if they allege FDCPA violations.
Because of the FDCPA laws, judgment recovery specialists are better off by arranging for their sheriff levy their debtor's vehicle some day by surprise, than to use the possibility to encourage their debtors to "wake up and arrange a repayment plan.
Mark D. Shapiro - Judgment Broker - Free leads for contingency collection attorneys. http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - is where Judgments quickly get Recovered by the best!