ORS 646.641¹
Civil action for unlawful debt collection practice
  • damages
  • attorney fees
  • time for commencing action

(1) Any person injured as a result of willful use or employment by another person of an unlawful collection practice may bring an action in an appropriate court to enjoin the practice or to recover actual damages or $200, whichever is greater. The court or the jury may award punitive damages, and the court may provide such equitable relief as it deems necessary or proper.

(2) In any action brought by a person under this section, the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.

(3) Actions brought under this section shall be commenced within one year from the date of the injury. [1977 c.184 §3; 1981 c.897 §79; 1995 c.618 §99]

Notes of Decisions

Under this sec­tion, plaintiff need not prove loss of money or prop­erty to collect min­i­mum amount, but only that plaintiff was "injured." Creditors Protective Assn. v. Britt, 58 Or App 230, 648 P2d 414 (1982)

Enforce­ment pro­vi­sion of Unlawful Collec­tion Law allows aggrieved debtor to recover at least statutorily specified $200 damages on proving some type of injury including emo­­tion­al upset and, in ac­tion arising from debt collec­tion through use of telephone, allega­tions by plaintiff of being "bothered," "upset" and "scared" were sufficient to entitle recovery of actual damages or a min­i­mum of $200 under this sec­tion. Creditors Protective Assn. v. Britt, 58 Or App 230, 648 P2d 414 (1982)

Where debtor brought ac­tion against debt collector alleging viola­tions of Fair Debt Collec­tion Practices Act and Oregon Unlawful Debt Collec­tion Practices Act and debt collector requests fees under this sec­tion for first time on ap­peal, debt collector waives issue. Swanson v. Southern Oregon Credit Service, Inc., 869 F2d 1222 (9th Cir. 1988)

Statute of limita­tions period began at time of first prohibited collec­tion practice, not when seller failed to provide purchased service. Bennett v. Reliable Credit Assn., Inc., 125 Or App 531, 865 P2d 496 (1993)

Claim for unfair debt collec­tion practice is subject to ORS 20.080 (Attorney fees for certain tort claims of $5,500 or less) pleading amount cap for award of attorney fees. Steele v. A & B Automotive & Towing Service, Inc., 135 Or App 632, 899 P2d 1206 (1995)

Notes of Decisions

Demand letter sent by attorneys to per­sons using satellite dishes to pirate television programming broadcasts, which demanded $300 to avoid being sued for damages, does not come under the unlawful Debt Collec­tion Practices Act, because there was no "consumer transac­tion" between dish users and broadcaster of programming. Tipton v. Willamette Subscrip­tion Television, 85 Or App 79, 735 P2d 1250 (1987), Sup Ct review denied

Notes of Decisions

A complaint which alleges in one count that defendants advertised automobile for sale with intent not to sell it as advertised, in a sec­ond count that there was a failure to disclose advertised price coupled with sale at greater amount sufficiently pleads ac­tion under Act. Sanders v. Francis, 277 Or 593, 561 P2d 1003 (1977)

Plaintiff's purchase of truck to carry on business of hauling freight in order to provide family invest­ment and employ­ment for family member did not fall within pro­vi­sions of Act. Searle v. Exley Express, Inc., 278 Or 535, 564 P2d 1054 (1977)

Amend­ment of defini­tion of "trade" and "commerce" to include "advertising, offering or distributing, whether by sale, rental or otherwise, any real estate, goods or services" does not indicate legislative intent to extend applica­tion of Unfair Trade Practices Act to loans and extensions of credit. Lamm v. Amfac Mortgage Corp., 44 Or App 203, 605 P2d 730 (1980)

There is no require­ment that consumer prove all ele­ments of common law fraud in order to recover damages under Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Raudebaugh v. Ac­tion Pest Control, 59 Or App 166, 650 P2d 1006 (1982)

Plaintiff's allega­tions that defendant escrow company represented that plaintiff would receive security interests on notes from sale of their business did not constitute misrepresenta­tions ac­tionable under Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Samuels v. Key Title Co., 63 Or App 627, 665 P2d 362 (1983), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Cita­tions

56 OLR 490 (1977); 13 WLJ 455 (1977)

Notes of Decisions

Where users of IUDs brought suit against manufacturer on variety of grounds, claiming damages for infertility, private en­force­­ment pro­vi­sion of Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) does not provide remedy for per­sonal injuries. Allen v. G.D. Searle and Co., 708 F Supp 1142 (D. Or. 1989)

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 335, 346, 408 (1972); 53 OLR 473-475 (1974)

Chapter 646

Notes of Decisions

Subject matter regulated by this chapter is not "preempted" by Federal Robinson-Patman Act so as to render this chapter invalid. W. J. Seufert v. Nat. Restaurant Supply Co., 266 Or 92, 511 P2d 363 (1973)

Whether an injunc­tion should issue when a court finds a viola­tion of the Act is a matter of discre­tion. State ex rel Johnson v. Interna­tional Harvester Co., 25 Or App 9, 548 P2d 176 (1976)

This chapter imposes no af­firm­a­tive duty to inform customers of rates in absence of request, but prohibits making in­for­ma­­tion about prices available to some customers and not others. Wildish Sand & Gravel v. Northwest Natural Gas Co., 103 Or App 215, 796 P2d 1237 (1990), Sup Ct review denied

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 646—Trade Practices and Antitrust Regulation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­Archive/­2007ors646.­pdf (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 646, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­646ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information