UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE ACTS and PRACTICES
(a.k.a. UDAAP or UDAP)
While communicating with consumers, creditors and debt buyers (collectively “debt owners”) and third-party debt collectors often make material representations intended to persuade consumers to pay debts in collection. Such representations may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the relationship between:
1. Paying debts in collection and improvements in a consumer’s credit report;
2. Paying debts in collection and improvements in a consumer’s credit score;
3. Paying debts in collection and improvements in a consumer’s creditworthiness;
4. Paying debts in collection and the increased likelihood of a consumer receiving credit or more favorable credit terms from a lender.
Representations like those above are likely to be important to many consumers who view credit reporting as an important determinant of their future access to credit and other opportunities. These types of representations are being made and some of them may be deceptive under the FDCPA, the Dodd-Frank Act, or both.
UDAAPs can cause significant financial injury to consumers, erode consumer confidence, and undermine fair competition in the financial marketplace. Original creditors and other covered persons and service providers under the Dodd-Frank Act involved in collecting debt related to any consumer financial product or service are subject to the prohibition against UDAAPs in the Dodd-Frank Act.
In addition to the prohibition of UDAAPs under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) also makes it illegal for a person defined as a “debt collector” from engaging in conduct “the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt,”2 to “use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt,”3 or to “use any unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.”4 The FDCPA generally applies to third-party debt collectors, such as collection agencies, debt purchasers, and attorneys who are regularly engaged in debt collection.5 All parties covered by the FDCPA must comply with any obligations they have under the FDCPA, in addition to any obligations to refrain from UDAAPs in violation of the Dodd-Frank Act.
Although the FDCPA’s definition of “debt collector” does not include some persons who collect consumer debt, all covered persons and service providers must refrain from committing UDAAPs in violation of the Dodd-Frank Act.
In most cases, though not all, a violation of the FDCPA will constitute a violation of UDAP.
It is necessary to look up and print out all of your local state's UDAP laws and compare those violations to the FDCPA laws and see where a violation of one will constitute a violation of the other.
SPECIAL NOTE: Under Federal law there is no private right of action. Private rights of action exist only under state law, even then, your state may not have a private right of action. You will need to verify if you have a private right of action under your state law, and even then, under what circumstances you may have that right.
CFPB Bulletin 2013-08 (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Dodd-Frank Act.) *.pdf
Prohibition of Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices in the Collection of Consumer Debts. *.pdf
Debt collector response template a sample letter to send to Debt Collectors in *.rtf format.
Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices, Maryland statutes (UDAP).
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Unfair and Deceptive Practices
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