FDCPA — Does it apply to the debt collector I’m dealing with now?

“FDCPA — Does it apply to the debt collector I’m dealing with now?”

FDCPA -- Does it apply to the debt collector I'm dealing with now?The FDCPA, or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, is a powerful tool in a collection lawsuit. Discovering when it applies is a smart move. Let’s talk about the three requirements that need to be met in order for the FDCPA to apply.

First off, the FDCPA only applies to consumers.

This doesn’t apply to businesses, corporations or partnerships.

It only applies to an individual.

It applies to personal, or consumer, debt– not business debt

What does this mean?

This means that it has to be debt that you took out, or allegedly took out for personal or household bills.

Whether that’s medical bills or house repair bills, it has to be a debt that’s from an individual.

Sometimes this gets complicated, so please contact us if you have any questions.

We would be happy to help you.

You have to be dealing with a debt collector

Well, what does that mean?

A debt collector is someone who, when they first get your debt, look at it to determine if it’s in default.

So, if you have a Capitol One credit card, does that make Capitol One a debt collector?

No, because you knowingly use your card to pay for things, and pay the bill (debt) every month. 

What if a company called AmSher, Midland Funding, or LVNV?

These are companies that receive debts after they are in default.

They are considered debt collectors.

If all of these requirements apply to you, then the FDCPA should apply

Feel free to contact us

Sometimes you’ll see a debt collector on your credit report, and you’re unsure whether they legally can sue you on that debt.

We will be glad to help walk you through your options.

You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

I look forward to talking with you.

Have a great day.

-John G. Watts


  1. Nicole says:

    Hi, I have a question. In 2008 I defaulted on my car lease. I had 3 month’s left on it and defaulted. My car was repossessed and each year an attorney takes my MI State income tax. The fee has occurred late charges, and this has been going on since I can recall. It went from around 2500 to 5000. I get one letter a year from the law firm that takes my measely 250 dollars, stating they are taking my state taxes. I called the attorney with no return call. Whats my options?
    Thanks ,

    • John Watts says:


      I’ll be honest I’ve never heard of a collector taking a stat tax refund. That doesn’t happen here in Alabama.

      So I really have no idea what’s going on in your situation in Michigan.

      I would definitely get with a consumer protection lawyer in Michigan — must be a specific law you have there for this to happen.

      I wish I could give you more information but this is a new one for me.

      If you don’t mind, when you find out if what is happening is legitimate or not, feel free to update with a new comment. I may have other folks who are in a similar situation and your information can be helpful to them.

      I know an attorney in Michigan I’ll also reach out to in order to get his thoughts.

      John Watts

  2. Amanda Happoldt says:

    I purchased a car from Ford Motor Credit I believe in 2003. I can’t remember exactly what I was paying for the car, roughly around. $ 17,000. They took me to court and sued me for a total of $36,733.55. It has a judgement date of June 29, 2007. It was taken to court November 14, 2014. They never repossessed the car, but I no longer have it. Can they legally do that? It says J Amt-$13,066, AF- $1,959.90, Int-$21,503.31and CC-$204.34. I just think it is unreasonable

    • John Watts says:


      Let me make sure I understand.

      You were sued in 2007 and the judgment did not happen until 2014?

      I’m assuming you were sued in Alabama (if sued elsewhere I don’t know the rules).

      In Alabama, once a judgment is entered, and assuming that is not changed on appeal, it is final.

      So you do owe the 36k. 13k in principal, 2k in attorney fees, 21k in interest and the court costs.

      I know that is a huge amount — the interest is the killer in this.

      If I’m understanding what has happened to you and there is an actual judgment against you, then you need to see if you can resolve the case or look at bankruptcy.

      It will likely take more than 50% in a lump sum to settle it or they will take monthly payments if you can convince them. Otherwise, they can just garnish your wages/bank account or take your property.

      I’m not a fan of bankruptcy but it is worth chatting with a bankruptcy attorney to see your options.

      Sorry this has happened and wish I had better news. It really is crazy that it is this high but once the judge enters that judgment, it becomes too late to argue about it.

      John Watts

      PS — If you need recommendation on bankruptcy attorney, call us at 205-879-2447 or if you want to discuss how to settle this case. Ask for Carolyn. Thanks!

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