(Part 2 of this document.)
§ 810. Multiple debts [15 USC 1692h]
If any consumer owes multiple debts and makes any single payment to any debt collector
with respect to such debts, such debt collector may not apply such payment to any debt
which is disputed by the consumer and, where applicable, shall apply such payment in
accordance with the consumer's directions.
§ 811. Legal actions by debt collectors [15 USC 1692i]
(a) Any debt collector who brings any legal action on a debt against any consumer shall --
(1) in the case of an action to enforce an interest in real property securing the
consumer's obligation, bring such action only in a judicial district or similar legal entity
in which such real property is located; or
(2) in the case of an action not described in paragraph (1), bring such action only in the
judicial district or similar legal entity --
(A) in which such consumer signed the contract sued upon; or
(B) in which such consumer resides at the commencement of the action.
(b) Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize the bringing of legal actions by
§ 812. Furnishing certain deceptive forms [15 USC 1692j]
(a) It is unlawful to design, compile, and furnish any form knowing that such form would
be used to create the false belief in a consumer that a person other than the creditor of
such consumer is participating in the collection of or in an attempt to collect a debt such
consumer allegedly owes such creditor, when in fact such person is not so participating.
(b) Any person who violates this section shall be liable to the same extent and in the same
manner as a debt collector is liable under section 813 for failure to comply with a
provision of this title.
§ 813. Civil liability [15 USC 1692k]
(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, any debt collector who fails to comply
with any provision of this title with respect to any person is liable to such person in an
amount equal to the sum of --
(1) any actual damage sustained by such person as a result of such failure;
(2) (A) in the case of any action by an individual, such additional damages as the court
may allow, but not exceeding $1,000; or
(B) in the case of a class action, (i) such amount for each named plaintiff as could be
recovered under subparagraph (A), and (ii) such amount as the court may allow for all
other class members, without regard to a minimum individual recovery, not to exceed the
lesser of $500,000 or 1 per centum of the net worth of the debt collector; and
(3) in the case of any successful action to enforce the foregoing liability, the costs of
the action, together with a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court. On a
finding by the court that an action under this section was brought in bad faith and for the
purpose of harassment, the court may award to the defendant attorney's fees reasonable in
relation to the work expended and costs.
(b) In determining the amount of liability in any action under subsection (a), the court
shall consider, among other relevant factors --
(1) in any individual action under subsection (a)(2)(A), the frequency and persistence
of noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, and the extent
to which such noncompliance was intentional; or
(2) in any class action under subsection (a)(2)(B), the frequency and persistence of
noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, the resources of
the debt collector, the number of persons adversely affected, and the extent to which the
debt collector's noncompliance was intentional.
(c) A debt collector may not be held liable in any action brought under this title if the
debt collector shows by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was not
intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of
procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error.
(d) An action to enforce any liability created by this title may be brought in any
appropriate United States district court without regard to the amount in controversy, or in
any other court of competent jurisdiction, within one year from the date on which the
(e) No provision of this section imposing any liability shall apply to any act done or
omitted in good faith in conformity with any advisory opinion of the Commission,
notwithstanding that after such act or omission has occurred, such opinion is amended,
rescinded, or determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason.
§ 814. Administrative enforcement [15 USC 1692l]
(a) Compliance with this title shall be enforced by the Commission, except to the extend
that enforcement of the requirements imposed under this title is specifically committed to
another agency under subsection (b). For purpose of the exercise by the Commission of
its functions and powers under the Federal Trade Commission Act, a violation of this title
shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of that Act. All of the
functions and powers of the Commission under the Federal Trade Commission Act are
available to the Commission to enforce compliance by any person with this title,
irrespective of whether that person is engaged in commerce or meets any other
jurisdictional tests in the Federal Trade Commission Act, including the power to enforce
the provisions of this title in the same manner as if the violation had been a violation of a
Federal Trade Commission trade regulation rule.
(b) Compliance with any requirements imposed under this title shall be enforced under --
(1) section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, in the case of --
(A) national banks, by the Comptroller of the Currency;
(B) member banks of the Federal Reserve System (other than national banks), by the
Federal Reserve Board; and
(C) banks the deposits or accounts of which are insured by the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation (other than members of the Federal Reserve System), by the Board
of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;
(2) section 5(d) of the Home Owners Loan Act of 1933, section 407 of the National
Housing Act, and sections 6(i) and 17 of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act, by the
Federal Home Loan Bank Board (acting directing or through the Federal Savings and
Loan Insurance Corporation), in the case of any institution subject to any of those
(3) the Federal Credit Union Act, by the Administrator of the National Credit Union
Administration with respect to any Federal credit union;
(4) subtitle IV of Title 49, by the Interstate Commerce Commission with respect to any
common carrier subject to such subtitle;
(5) the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, by the Secretary of Transportation with respect
to any air carrier or any foreign air carrier subject to that Act; and
(6) the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 (except as provided in section 406 of that
Act), by the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to any activities subject to that Act.
(c) For the purpose of the exercise by any agency referred to in subsection (b) of its
powers under any Act referred to in that subsection, a violation of any requirement
imposed under this title shall be deemed to be a violation of a requirement imposed under
that Act. In addition to its powers under any provision of law specifically referred to in
subsection (b), each of the agencies referred to in that subsection may exercise, for the
purpose of enforcing compliance with any requirement imposed under this title any other
authority conferred on it by law, except as provided in subsection (d).
(d) Neither the Commission nor any other agency referred to in subsection (b) may
promulgate trade regulation rules or other regulations with respect to the collection of
debts by debt collectors as defined in this title.
§ 815. Reports to Congress by the Commission [15 USC 1692m]
(a) Not later than one year after the effective date of this title and at one-year intervals
thereafter, the Commission shall make reports to the Congress concerning the
administration of its functions under this title, including such recommendations as the
Commission deems necessary or appropriate. In addition, each report of the Commission
shall include its assessment of the extent to which compliance with this title is being
achieved and a summary of the enforcement actions taken by the Commission under
section 814 of this title.
(b) In the exercise of its functions under this title, the Commission may obtain upon
request the views of any other Federal agency which exercises enforcement functions
under section 814 of this title.
§ 816. Relation to State laws [15 USC 1692n]
This title does not annul, alter, or affect, or exempt any person subject to the provisions
of this title from complying with the laws of any State with respect to debt collection
practices, except to the extent that those laws are inconsistent with any provision of this
title, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency. For purposes of this section, a State
law is not inconsistent with this title if the protection such law affords any consumer is
greater than the protection provided by this title.
§817. Exemption for State regulation [15 USC 1692o]
The Commission shall by regulation exempt from the requirements of this title any class
of debt collection practices within any State if the Commission determines that under the
law of that State that class of debt collection practices is subject to requirements
substantially similar to those imposed by this title, and that there is adequate provision for
(The following section is NEW.)
§ 818. Exception for certain bad check enforcement programs operated by private
`(a) In General`(
1) TREATMENT OF CERTAIN PRIVATE ENTITIES- Subject to
paragraph (2), a private entity shall be excluded from the definition of a debt
collector, pursuant to the exception provided in section 803(6), with respect to the
operation by the entity of a program described in paragraph (2)(A) under a contract
described in paragraph (2)(B).
`(2) CONDITIONS OF APPLICABILITY- Paragraph (1) shall apply if--
`(A) a State or district attorney establishes, within the jurisdiction of such
State or district attorney and with respect to alleged bad check violations that do not
involve a check described in subsection (b), a pretrial diversion program for alleged
bad check offenders who agree to participate voluntarily in such program to avoid
`(B) a private entity, that is subject to an administrative support services
contract with a State or district attorney and operates under the direction,
supervision, and control of such State or district attorney, operates the pretrial
diversion program described in subparagraph (A); and
`(C) in the course of performing duties delegated to it by a State or
district attorney under the contract, the private entity referred to in subparagraph
`(i) complies with the penal laws of the State;
`(ii) conforms with the terms of the contract and directives of the State
or district attorney;
`(iii) does not exercise independent prosecutorial discretion;
`(iv) contacts any alleged offender referred to in subparagraph (A) for
purposes of participating in a program referred to in such paragraph--
`(I) only as a result of any determination by the State or district
attorney that probable cause of a bad check violation under State penal law exists,
and that contact with the alleged offender for purposes of participation in the
program is appropriate; and
`(II) the alleged offender has failed to pay the bad check after
demand for payment, pursuant to State law, is made for payment of the check
`(v) includes as part of an initial written communication with an
alleged offender a clear and conspicuous statement that--
`(I) the alleged offender may dispute the validity of any alleged
bad check violation;
`(II) where the alleged offender knows, or has reasonable cause to
believe, that the alleged bad check violation is the result of theft or forgery of the
check, identity theft, or other fraud that is not the result of the conduct of the
alleged offender, the alleged offender may file a crime report with the appropriate
law enforcement agency; and
`(III) if the alleged offender notifies the private entity or the
district attorney in writing, not later than 30 days after being contacted for the first
time pursuant to clause (iv), that there is a dispute pursuant to this subsection,
before further restitution efforts are pursued, the district attorney or an employee
of the district attorney authorized to make such a determination makes a
determination that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been
`(vi) charges only fees in connection with services under the contract
that have been authorized by the contract with the State or district attorney.
`(b) Certain Checks Excluded- A check is described in this subsection if the
check involves, or is subsequently found to involve--
`(1) a postdated check presented in connection with a payday loan, or other
similar transaction, where the payee of the check knew that the issuer had
insufficient funds at the time the check was made, drawn, or delivered;
`(2) a stop payment order where the issuer acted in good faith and with
reasonable cause in stopping payment on the check;
`(3) a check dishonored because of an adjustment to the issuer's account by
the financial institution holding such account without providing notice to the person
at the time the check was made, drawn, or delivered;
`(4) a check for partial payment of a debt where the payee had previously
accepted partial payment for such debt;
`(5) a check issued by a person who was not competent, or was not of legal
age, to enter into a legal contractual obligation at the time the check was made,
drawn, or delivered; or
`(6) a check issued to pay an obligation arising from a transaction that was
illegal in the jurisdiction of the State or district attorney at the time the check was
made, drawn, or delivered.
`(c) Definitions- For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall
`(1) STATE OR DISTRICT ATTORNEY- The term `State or district
attorney' means the chief elected or appointed prosecuting attorney in a district,
county (as defined in section 2 of title 1, United States Code), municipality, or
comparable jurisdiction, including State attorneys general who act as chief elected
or appointed prosecuting attorneys in a district, county (as so defined), municipality
or comparable jurisdiction, who may be referred to by a variety of titles such as
district attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, commonwealth's attorneys, solicitors,
county attorneys, and state's attorneys, and who are responsible for the prosecution
of State crimes and violations of jurisdiction-specific local ordinances.
`(2) CHECK- The term `check' has the same meaning as in section 3(6) of the
Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act.
`(3) BAD CHECK VIOLATION- The term `bad check violation' means a
violation of the applicable State criminal law relating to the writing of dishonored
§ 819. Effective date [15 USC 1692 note] (Section number is NEW.)
This title takes effect upon the expiration of six months after the date of its enactment,
but section 809 shall apply only with respect to debts for which the initial attempt to
collect occurs after such effective date.
Approved September 20, 1977.
1. So in original; however, should read "604(a)(3)."
Public Law 95-109 [H.R. 5294]
HOUSE REPORT No. 95-131 (Comm. on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs).
SENATE REPORT No. 95-382 (Comm. on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 123 (1977):
Apr. 4, considered and passed House.
Aug. 5, considered and passed Senate, amended.
Sept. 8, House agreed to Senate amendment.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 13, No. 39:
Sept. 20, Presidential statement.
SECTION 621, SUBSECTIONS (b)(3), (b)(4) and (b)(5) were amended to transfer
certain administrative enforcement responsibilities, pursuant to Pub. L. 95-473, § 3(b),
Oct. 17, 1978. 92 Stat. 166; Pub. L. 95-630, Title V. § 501, November 10, 1978, 92 Stat.
3680; Pub. L. 98-443, § 9(h), Oct. 4, 1984, 98 Stat. 708.
SECTION 803, SUBSECTION (6), defining "debt collector," was amended to repeal the
attorney at law exemption at former Section (6)(F) and to redesignate Section 803(6)(G)
pursuant to Pub. L. 99-361, July 9, 1986, 100 Stat. 768. For legislative history, see H.R.
237, HOUSE REPORT No. 99-405 (Comm. on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD: Vol. 131 (1985): Dec. 2, considered and passed House.
Vol. 132 (1986): June 26, considered and passed Senate.
SECTION 807, SUBSECTION (11), was amended to affect when debt collectors must
state (a) that they are attempting to collect a debt and (b) that information obtained will
be used for that purpose, pursuant to Pub. L. 104-208 § 2305, 110 Stat. 3009 (Sept. 30,
2006 AMENDMENTS (NOTES) [S.2856[ENR] ]:
SEC. 801. EXCEPTION FOR CERTAIN BAD CHECK ENFORCEMENT
(a) In General- The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq.) is
amended--(1) by redesignating section 818 as section 819; and(2) by inserting after
section 817 the following: Sec. 818. Exception for certain bad check enforcement
programs operated by private entities
SEC. 802. OTHER AMENDMENTS.
(a) Legal Pleadings- Section 809 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C.
1692g) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: (d) Legal
(b) Notice Provisions- Section 809 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C.
1692g) is amended by adding after subsection (d) (as added by subsection (a) of this
section) the following new subsection: (e) Notice Provisions
(c) Establishment of Right To Collect Within the First 30 Days- Section 809(b) of the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692g(b)) is amended.