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Federal Statutes and Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission Act proscribes unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.  The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency established by the Federal Trade Commission Act.  The Commission is empowered and directed to prevent persons, partnerships, or corporations, except banks, savings and loan institutions, Federal credit unions, common carriers subject to the Acts to regulate commerce, air carriers and foreign air carriers, and persons, partnerships, or corporations, from using unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.  The Federal Trade Commission’s mission is to protect consumers from fraudulent or deceptive claims that mislead consumers and protect them from harmful business practices that undermine competition.

Pursuant to 18 USCS § 712, a person engaged in the business of collecting, or aiding in the collection of, private debts or obligations, if he/she uses or employs in any communication, correspondence, notice, advertisement, or circular the words “national”, “Federal”, or “United States”, the initials “U.S.”, or any emblem, insignia, or name, for the purpose of conveying and in a manner reasonably calculated to convey the false impression that such communication is from a department, agency, bureau, or instrumentality of the United States, he/she can be fined or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows consumers who have been subjected to abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by third party debt collectors to sue for damages and other relief.  Pursuant to  15 USCS § 1692, the purpose of the Act is to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.  The Act creates guidelines under which debt collectors may conduct business, defines rights of consumers involved with debt collectors, and prescribes penalties and remedies for violations of the Act.  The Act is sometimes used in conjunction with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Inside Federal Statutes and Regulations