How to File a Complaint with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

by Ciele Edwards ; Updated July 27, 2017

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates debt collection activity in the U.S. It prohibits debt collectors from engaging in debt recovery methods the U.S. government considers abusive, such as using vulgar language, threatening debtors with physical harm, informing others of the debt or continuing to call the consumer after the individual demands, in writing, that the company cease all communication. You can direct any complaints you have about illegal debt collection activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If the FTC receives multiple consumer complaints about a collection agency committing FDCPA violations, it will investigate and either fine the company or revoke its business license.

Step 1

Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Complaints at

Step 2

Select the option for the complaint assistant form. This option is located beneath the large “FTC Complaint Assistant” button on the right side of the screen.

Step 3

Answer questions on the complaint assistant form as they appear on your screen. These questions narrow down the industry your complaint is about and the FDCPA violation the company committed.

Step 4

Enter the company’s name, address, telephone number, email address and website when prompted.

Step 5

Enter your name, address, email address and telephone number when prompted. This provides the FTC with a way to contact you to verify your complaint or ask additional questions.

Step 6

Enter any additional information you would like to provide concerning the FDCPA violations you suffered.

Step 7

Review your full complaint form. If you are satisfied that all of the information you provided is correct, click “Accept.” Your complaint will then be reviewed by the FTC and entered into its computer database.


  • If you make the wrong selection, hitting the “Back” button will return you to the previous question – allowing you to amend your response before proceeding.

    The FTC only accepts complaints submitted using its online complaint assistant form.


  • The FDCPA only applies to third-party creditors, such as collection agencies and their attorneys. Because of this, you cannot submit a complaint to the FTC regarding FDCPA violations by original creditors.

About the Author

Ciele Edwards holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been a consumer advocate and credit specialist for more than 10 years. She currently works in the real-estate industry as a consumer credit and debt specialist. Edwards has experience working with collections, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, loans and credit law.

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