The only body of law in Tennessee that protects debtors from abusive debt collection practices is in Federal Law. Its commonly referred to as The Federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act fount at 15 U.S.C §1692 et seq. Tennessee has not done much by way of state law to address abusive debt collection. Tennessee has, however, taken steps to protect consumers who “seeks or acquires by purchase rent, lease, assignment, award by chance, or other disposition, any goods, services, or property…” [Tenn. Code Ann. §47-18-103(3)]. Certain violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977 create a private right of action, which means a consumer can file a lawsuit themselves for violations. [Tenn. Code Ann. §47-18-109(a)]
So, what are the violations? They can be found mostly at Tenn. Code Ann. §47-18-104. Almost all the violations really have to do with making false misrepresentations about the character of goods or services purchased by a consumer. For example, a seller cannot “pass off goods or services as those of another.” [Tenn. Code Ann. §47-18-104(b)(1)]. Or my favorite, a seller cannot misrepresent that “goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits or quantities that they do not have…” [Tenn. Code Ann. §47-18-104(b)(5)]. There are a host of listed requirements that a seller of goods or services must comply with in the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977.
Don’t be a victim. Be an educated consumer and know your rights because you have some in the beautiful State of Tennessee.