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Consumers who are granted credit have long received protection through usury laws (laws that establish a maximum interest rate). The rise in consumer debt in recent years has been matched by an increase in federal regulation of consumer credit transactions. The Truth in Lending Act requires disclosure of credit terms; the Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits certain types of discrimination in the granting of credit; the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers access to their credit dossiers and prohibits unapproved use of credit-rating information. After entering into a credit transaction, a consumer has certain cancellation rights and may use a procedure prescribed by the Fair Credit Billing Act to correct billing errors. Traditional debt collection practices—garnishment, wage assignments, and confession of judgment clauses—are now subject to federal regulation, as are the practices of collection agencies under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Plaintiff incurred a medical debt of $160. She received two or three telephone calls from Defendant, the collection agency; each time she denied any money owing. Subsequently she received this letter:
You have shown that you are unwilling to work out a friendly settlement with us to clear the above debt. Our field investigator has now been instructed to make an investigation in your neighborhood and to personally call on your employer.
The immediate payment of the full amount, or a personal visit to this office, will spare you this embarrassment.
The top of the letter notes the creditor’s name and the amount of the alleged debt. The letter was signed by a “collection agent.” The envelope containing that letter presented a return address that included Defendant’s full name: “Collection Accounts Terminal, Inc.” What violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are here presented?
An example of a loan that is a common exception to usury law is
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, an applicant denied credit
Garnishment of wages
A wage assignment is
The Truth-in-Truth in Lending Act requires disclosure of