Connecticut law provides protection to consumers from certain types of abusive, deceptive, and misleading debt collection tactics. The Creditor’s Collection Practices Act provides protection against unfair debt collection by creditors. The Consumer Collection Agency laws prohibit debt collectors from using abusive and unfair collection tactics. Both laws supplement the protections provided by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Read on to learn what these Connecticut laws prohibit, who is covered by the laws, and what you can do if your rights are violated under these laws.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that sets limits on what bill collectors can do in attempting to get you to pay a debt. The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from talking to third parties about your debt, calling you at work, and engaging in other tactics designed to harass, abuse, or mislead you into paying a debt. The FDCPA only applies to debt collectors and third party debt buyers—it does not cover collection activities performed by an original creditor. (To learn more about the FDCPA, see Nolo's Illegal Debt Collection Practicestopic area.
Connecticut has enacted additional laws that supplement the FDCPA and may provide you more protection if you live in this state.
Connecticut has two sets of consumer debt collection laws.
Both laws guard against a wider range of debt collection tactics and provide additional remedies than what the FDCPA alone provides.
The CCPA specifically covers original creditors, not debt collection agencies. The CCPA is designed to provide the same protections given by the FDCP covering debt collectors.
The CCPA prohibits creditors from engaging in abusive, harassing, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading practices. In that regard, it practically mirrors what the FDCPA states that debt collectors cannot do.
Some things that creditors cannot do under the CCPA include:
As of July 2007, you have a private cause of action if a creditor harms you in violation of the CCPA. This means that you can file a lawsuit in Connecticut against the creditor for damages. If you win, the court may award to you:
The CCA covers debt collectors. This includes:
The following persons or entities are exempt from the CCA:
The CCA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in any unfair or deceptive act or practice. Some things that a debt collector cannot do include:
The CCA does not give provide a private cause of action to consumers who have been harmed by a debt collector’s violations of the CCA. This means you cannot bring a lawsuit under the CCA.
Enforcement of the CCA is left to the Connecticut Department of Banking and the Connecticut Attorney General. Both agencies have the authority to investigate claims and enforce the. The debt collector may be subject to criminal sanctions, including up to $1,000 in fines and one year imprisonment.
If you have a potential claim against a debt collector under the CCA, you can contact the Department of Banking to make a consumer claim by visiting its consumer webpage at www.ct.gov/dob and clicking on “File a Complaint.”
You may also still have a private right of action against the debt collector for violation of the FDCPA. For more information, visit Nolo's Illegal Debt Collection Practices topic area.
Debt collectors must be licensed as a “consumer collection agency” in the state of Connecticut. The CCA requires debt collectors to uphold certain professional standards. A debt collector can lose its license if it violates the CCA or commits a misdemeanor or felony involving their debt collection business. If an unlicensed debt collector tries to collect from you, it may be in violation of both the CCA and the FDCPA.
For more details on what the CCPA does and does not cover, you can read the Connecticut Creditor's Collection Practices Act (“CCPA”), General Statutes §â