Mr. Ed G. Whitehead
Dear Mr. Whitehead:
Your letter to Chairman Steiger has been forwarded to this office for reply. You state that Mitsubushi Motors Credit of America (M.M.C.A.) threatened to repossess your automobile without intending to carry out the threat. You also note in the update to your letter, however, that your car was repossessed on June 3, 1991.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("Act") prohibits a number of deceptive, unfair and abusive practices by independent debt collection agencies and provides consumers with certain rights concerning them. It applies regardless of the circumstances of the debt. I have enclosed a brochure which discusses the Act in greater detail. As you noted in your letter the Act does not apply to creditors who are attempting to collect money owed themselves.
You believe that Section 808 (6), (15 U.S.C. 1692f (6)) has been violated by M.M.C.A. Section 806 (3) of the Act provides:
This section is not applicable to the activities of M.M.C.A., since M.M.C.A.'s principal purpose of doing business is not the enforcement of security interests but is presumably the financing of car purchases. Section 806 (3) subjects companies that are in the business of repossessing automobiles to the Act's prohibition against specific unfair or unconscionable means of enforcing security interests set out in Section 808(6) of the Act. We do not believe that M.M.C.A. falls within the scope of this section. Therefore, Section 808 (6) does not apply.
Since you indicate that your car has been repossessed, I am enclosing a pamphlet outlining consumers, rights once a vehicle has been repossessed.
You state that you hope the Commission will be able to assist in obtaining relief from M.M.C.A. As a matter of policy, the Commission does not generally intervene in individual disputes. However, letters such as yours provide valuable information that is frequently used to. develop or support Commission enforcement initiatives.
I hope you will find this information helpful.
Roger J. Fitzpatrick