Trade Practices and Antitrust Regulation

ORS 646.641
Civil action for unlawful collection practice

  • damages
  • attorney fees
  • time for commencing action


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.


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


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 pleading amount cap for award of attorney fees. Steele v. A & B Automotive & Towing Service, Inc., 135 Or App 632, 899 P2d 1206 (1995)

For compilation to be trade secret, compilation, not individual items within compilation, must have independent value and not be generally known. Kaib's Roving R.PH. Agency, Inc. v. Smith, 237 Or App 96, 239 P3d 247 (2010)

§§ 646.639 to 646.641

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

§§ 646.605 to 646.656

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)

§§ 646.605 to 646.652

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)

For purposes of applying Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act, real estate, goods or services are obtained primarily for personal, family or household purposes if (1) real estate, good or service is customarily purchased by substantial number of people for personal, family or household use and (2) person actually purchases real estate, good or service for personal, family or household use. Fowler v. Cooley, 239 Or App 338, 245 P3d 155 (2010)

Law Review Citations

51 OLR 335, 346, 408 (1972); 53 OLR 473-475 (1974); 94 OLR 589 (2016)

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


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021