In response to a Federal Trade Commission study released last summer, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals is calling for several changes to be made to the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act. The FTC study noted that parts of the industry needed reform, and ACA supporters point out that the Practices Act - passed in 1977 - is outdated and didn't anticipate the advent of cell phones, email and voicemail as forms of communication, according to the Virginian-Pilot. ACA's Blueprint for Modernizing America's Consumer Debt Collection System would allow collectors to communicate with a consumer via email or texting if the opportunity it is provided for them to do so. The group also calls for an improvement in the documentation of credit records made available to collectors. "Debt collectors' ability to contact consumers is the greatest challenge in debt collection," Steve Fredrickson, chairman, president and CEO of Virginia-based Portfolio Recovery Associates, told the news source in an email. The ACA cites data from the Federal Reserve, which points out that total consumer debt in the U.S. exceeded $2.45 trillion last year. This translates into more than $16,007 in average credit card debt per household, Auto Remarketing reports.