AMENDMENT OF FEDERAL FDCPA

Section 802 of S. 2856, which was signed by the President on October 13, 2006, amends the federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act’s validation of debt provisions. Section 802 provides that certain communications are not “initial communications” for purposes of Section 1692g(a), and thus would not trigger a validation of debt disclosure. Such communications include (i) a formal pleading in a civil action and (ii) a notice that does not relate to the collection of a debt and is required by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, or any provision of federal or state law relating to notice of data security breach or privacy, or any regulation prescribed under such provision of law. Section 802 also clarifies that a debt collector may attempt to collect a debt during the 30-day validation period as long as the consumer has not disputed the debt in writing or requested the name and address of the original creditor. A debt collector, however, may not overshadow a consumer’s validation rights when performing such activities.

Margaret Stolar and Charles Gall