What is the FTC?

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You’ve probably seen the Federal Trade Commission or its acronym (FTC) around at various times when reading about debt collection law. However, like most people, you might not know exactly what it is. That’s okay, of course; you’re about to find out.

The FTC Simplified

The FTC is an independent government agency that, broadly speaking, is meant to protect American consumers. Specifically, the FTC helps consumers protect themselves from scams, shows consumers how to file complaints about businesses, and promotes transparency and competition when it comes to businesses. These are just a few of the activities that the FTC engages in, but they are among the most important ones.

The agency has been around since 1914, ever since it was conceived by the Federal Trade Commission Act. Back then, one of its main goals was to discourage “unfair methods of competition,” which were rampant in the early 20th century.

The FTC and the FDCPA

Since the FTC often specifically deals with instances where companies deceive consumers, this agency could quickly become relevant if you want to file an FDCPA claim. For example, if a third-party collection agency insists that you owe money for a debt you’ve already paid off and fools you into paying, that’s an example of a deceptive practice.

For more information on deceptive practices a third-party debt collector cannot perform, read our article on forbidden collection agency activities.

If this happens to you, you should find out how the FTC can help you, since combatting deception is a goal of the agency. But you may also want to consider contacting an FDCPA attorney for help. Your attorney will be able to help you with the complex process of filing an FDCPA claim, and with a successful claim, the harassment will stop and you may even get financial compensation for what you’ve been through.