Are Debt Collectors or Debt Buyers Calling you? – Credit Law Center
Do you immediately send an unknown call to voice mail, knowing it is just another abusive debt collector? Debt collectors and debt buyers spend lots of time and money going to seminars and workshops to stay up to date on all the rules and regulations. Collectors of Debt are required to follow the strict guidelines, which are set in place by Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, (FDCPA). Unfortunately, for a consumer a debt collector may use unlawful tactics to gain a larger profit. Often times voice mail messages left by collectors are violating the FDCPA.
THERE THREE COMMON TYPES OF VOICE MAIL VIOLATIONS:
Threats or Lies happen when a debt collector threatens the consumer with legal action, they may claim to work for a government agency, i.e. police department, or prosecuting attorney. Occasionally debt collectors may even go as far as threatening a lawsuit, jail time or even extreme of physical harm.
Third Party Disclosure is when a debt collector leaves a voice mail message knowing that the messages may be heard by a third party. A consumer replays the message on speakerphone; therefore child, roommate or any other person besides their spouse hears it, which causes a third party disclosure has occur.
“Mini-Miranda” is a brief statement notifying the consumer that debt collector is attempting to collect a debt, therefore leaving this out causes a violation. It may sound like this, “This is a message from a debt collector and this is an attempt to collect a debt.” A Collector may leave this out in an attempt to avoid violating the third party disclosure. They may also leave it out to be deceptive, thinking the consumer will likely call back.
SAMPLE VOICE MAIL VIOLATIONS
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
It is very important that consumers know their rights. If you feel you are being harassed or abused by a creditor, make sure to take the proper steps to document every interaction with the Collector.
- Keep a log of all calls
- Don’t throw anything away important information, i.e. collection letters, voice mail messages, telephone bills, handwritten notes during the collection calls