In the past, you might receive a knock on the door to find a
Old System Needs New Rules
The Federal Trade Commission was originally set up to monitor the interactions between consumers and businesses, offering protection from unfair business practices. With more Americans slipping further into debt each year, the FTC has begun to focus on protecting consumers from unfair debt collection practices. Despite its intentions and efforts, the FTC’s practices are nearly 30 years old. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was created in the 19070s, leaving many loopholes for modern day technology free to wreak havoc on consumers. Each year the FTC receives more and more complaints from victims of unfair and abusive debt collection practices. Technology has begun to create massive problems for consumers through data brokers, online victimization and increased levels of fraud.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is a Washington D.C.-based research center, which focuses on trends in technology, consumer protection and the debt collection industry. As a response to consumer complaints filed to the FTC, EPIC is pushing for changes to be made to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. EPIC submitted a 20 page report to the FTC providing suggestions for changes, such as the need to develop proactive measures for enforcing consequences to those that violate the rules and ways to increase protection of consumer’s personal information. Furthermore, EPIC wants the FTC to prohibit debt collectors from using messages, emails and social networking sites to contact consumers.