How Do I Know If A Debt Collector Has Violated The FDCPA
In short, if the debt collector has done something that was unfair (divulging the details of your debt to a 3rd party), untrue, or harassing (calling multiple times) or abusive (cursing or threatening you), there is a good possibility that the debt collector violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and may owe you compensation.
What Types Of Debt Collectors Are Regulated By The FDCPA?
Third-party (not in-house) collection agencies collecting for creditors. Exemptions to the FDCPA guidelines include in-house collection agents who collect their own debt such as a department stores using their own in-house debt collectors. However, California consumer's are protected from "in-house" debt collector abuse by the California Rosenthal Act.
How Can I Stop Fraudulent Debt Collection Calls From Scammers?
- Sign up for Google Voice. Google Voice is a great replacement voice mail system. .
- Call the scammers back with the new Google Voice phone number. Make sure when you call you identify yourself so the scammers start up their script. At any point after they have your information pulled up just hang up. They will then start harassing your Google Voice number.
- Change your old number so that the scammers only have the new Google Number to harass instead of your phone number that you use.
Important Note: Do NOT do this with legitimate debt collectors as a tactic to avoid their calls. Avoiding legitimated debt collectors could lead to legal headaches for you. There are other ways to legally protect yourself from legitimate debt collectors that are harassing you if they are violating your consumer rights, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Rosenthal Act.
What Is Considered Debt Collection Harassment?
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the following are common types of debt collector harassment that are in violation of the FDCPA:
- Debt collectors may NOT use violence or threats of violence to collect a debt.
- Collectors may NOT threaten you with arrest
- Collectors may NOT use profane or abusive language.
- Collectors are prohibited from calling you repeatedly.
- Calling you at work after they have been told that your employer prohibits you from receiving personal calls
- Telling 3rd parties about your debt
How Much Will It Cost Me To Hire An Attorney To Fight A Debt Collector Who Is Violating The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
Nothing. If a debt collector is found to be in violation of the FDCPA, not only do you qualify to be compensated for your injuries, but the debt collector must also pay your attorney and court costs.
What Do I Do If Debt Collectors Are Calling My Friends And Family?
Debt collectors are allowed to contact your friends and family members, only if they do not have your direct contact information. They are only allowed to attempt to acquire your contact information from your friends and family. They are not allowed to disclose to your them that you owe a debt. If they disclose details of your debt to these 3rd party individuals they are in violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and you may be entitled to compensation. If this happens, document it and give M&F Law a call for a free consultation.
Can I Record A Phone Conversation With A Debt Collector?
If you've been receiving harassing phone calls from a debt collector, you're probably thinking that recording your conversations would be a smart move. If you're able to let a judge actually listen to the harassment, it's got to help your case, right?
Maybe-but there are rules you need to follow. Laws are different in other states, but in California, you cannot record someone without informing him that he is being recorded. Once the debt collector knows you are recording the call, he decides what happens next:
- He may hang up.
- He may tell you that he does not agree to being recorded (which means you need to turn off the recording device).
- He may continue to talk, which indicates implied consent on his part.
- He may tell you he agrees to be recorded.
Make sure that when you notify the collection agent that you are going to record the call, you tell him while you're recording. You don't want it to come back to haunt you if the person agrees to being taped, but then later tries to say that you never told him.
If a debt collector leaves a message on your voice-mail, that is fair game. When someone leaves a voice-mail message, it is obviously implied that they are being recorded to deliver a message to you at a later time.
If you are being intimidated and harassed by debt collectors, and you feel that they may be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, call the Law Office of Paul Mankin at 800-654-9517 today for a free consultation.