While you may have been enticed to sign up for the Victoria's Secret credit card, called the Angel Credit Card, you might not be so happy with the devilish tactics used by the bank that backs these cards. Comenity Bank offers credit card financing to retail stores like Victoria's Secret and others. When consumers fall behind on their credit card payments, it encourages debt collectors to call consumers repeatedly in hopes to collect payment on unpaid balances. However, if these collectors violate federal laws, these collection attempts may rise to the level of harassment.
The web is full of consumer complaints of “Comenity Bank calling me,” but you can take action to stop harassment from debt collection agencies. Here is what you need to know about your rights regarding Victoria Secret's credit card collections.
Comenity Bank and Victoria's Secret Collections
If Comenity Bank keeps calling you, know that you are not alone. Members of the Victoria's Secret community report receiving Comenity Bank phone calls over the last several years. They report that they have received phone calls from numbers that keep changing and sometimes even receive text messages from people purporting to be Comenity Bank or its agent.
Some consumers say Comenity Bank harassing phone calls are made to them ten times or more a day. Others report Comenity Bank's Victoria's Secret collectors are rude, condescending, and nasty. Some have even reported that debt collectors call their family members or threaten to send the account to an attorney.
While creditors may be legally able to contact you to pay your Victoria's Secret card, there are limits to what actions they can take. There are two primary laws that can protect you against Comenity Bank's Victoria's Secret collections: The Telephone Consumer Protect Act and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Here is what you need to know about these laws and how they may assist you with resolving harassing Victoria's Secret debt collection actions.
Protections Provided by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
When you signed up for your Victoria's Secret credit card, you likely did not believe that you would then be the recipient of numerous unwanted calls. If you find yourself in this situation, know that there are federal laws that can protect your privacy rights.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulates telemarketing calls, robocalls, auto-dialed calls, text messages and the transmission of unsolicited faxes. The Federal Communications Commission has the authority to establish rules and regulations related to this law.
Unless you give express consent otherwise, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act requires telemarketers to:
- Refrain from calling homes before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Identify themselves and the name of the company they are representing
- Maintain a company-specific do-not-call list and honoring it when consumers request to be placed on it
- Honor the National Do Not Call Registry
- Refrain from making calls to residences by using an artificial voice or a recording
- Not send unsolicited advertisements over fax
- Receive consent before calling a person's cell phone
Knowing your rights under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act can help you exercise them if they are violated.
Your Rights Under the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Tips to Stop
Because there is a legal distinction between a telemarketer and a debt collector such as Comenity Bank for Victoria's Secret, it is also important to understand your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
This sweeping federal law prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect debts. It imposes potential civil penalties on companies that violate these rules. Debt collectors are prohibiting from doing any of the following in the collection of debt:
- Threatening you with physical violence or harm
- Lying about the debt you owe
- Lying about who they are
- Using obscene or profane language
- Repeatedly using the phone to annoy you
- Claiming you will be arrested or sent to “debtor's prison” if you do not pay the debt
- Engaging in unfair practices, such as charging extra fees you do not owe or taking your property without due process
One major limitation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is that it only applies to debt collection agencies, not original creditors. Therefore, companies like Comenity Bank may be able to legally engage in such actions if they are considered the original creditor and not a debt collector. However, if the original creditor assigned the debt to a third party, the third party would have to abide by these rules.
California's Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act extends the legal obligations of debt collectors to original creditors. Therefore, if Victoria's Secret Comenity Bank would not ordinarily be subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it will be when dealing with consumers in California.
Under the Rosenthal Act, creditors cannot do any of the following:
- Use or threaten to use physical force against you
- Threaten criminal action against you, your property, or your reputation
- Lie that you have committed a crime by not paying the debt
- Make or threaten to make false statements about you to someone else to damage your reputation
- Threaten to have you arrested for not paying the debt
- Threaten to garnish your wages or seize your property when it has no intention to do so
- Use obscene or profane language
- Misrepresent themselves or not say who they are
- Call you repeatedly just to annoy you
- Call you excessively to the extent that it is considered harassment
- Reveal information about your debt to your family other than your spouse
- Publish your name in a public-shaming list for failing to pay the debt
- Contact you if you have a lawyer who has sent notice to them of the representation
In addition to prohibiting certain conduct, the Rosenthal Act requires creditors to take certain affirmative actions, including:
- Inform you if the statute of limitations has passed – If the legal timeline to collect the debt, known as the statute of limitations, has passed, the debt collector must provide you with written notice to this effect.
- Respect the judicial process – Debt collectors must serve you with notice if they file a lawsuit against you. They also cannot attempt to collect the debt if they know you have not been properly served. Also, the creditor can only sue you in the county where you lived, incurred the debt or currently live. The collector cannot file a lawsuit against you for a time-barred debt.
How to Stop Calls from Comenity Bank
If you have received Comenity Bank phone calls that you believe violate one of the laws above, you can take steps to stop these harassing calls. Here are the steps you can take to protect your rights:
- Ask for more information – Ask the caller their name, the business they represent, their business address and phone number and any identifying information such as a representative number.
- Revoke any prior consent – If you previously consented to afterhours calls or to be contacted on your cell phone, revoke this consent.
- Ask to record the call – You will often hear that the call is being recorded for quality assurance. Ask the representative if you can make your own recording of the call for your own records. In some states, it is legal to record calls while in others, you need permission. This step covers your bases either way.
- Request no further calls – Explicitly request that the representative add your name to the do not call list.
- Add your name to the National Do Not Call Registry – You can do this by calling 888-382-1222 or visiting donotcall.gov and walking through the steps.
- Write a letter – You can also write a letter and sent it by certified mail, return receipt requested to establish that you do not want any further contact. Debt collectors generally then only have the right to contact you to notify you that the matter has been turned over to an attorney, to notify you that it is suing you or to verify the debt upon your request.
- Consider legal action – If you continue to receive harassing phone calls or other unsolicited communications, consider taking legal action. If a business violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, you may be able to sue for up to $500 for each violation or recover any financial losses you suffered because of the violations. If the violation is willful, you may be able to sue for up to $1,500 per violation. You may also be able to get a court order that requires the business to stop contacting you or violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations can result in a penalty of $1,000 per violation.
How We Can Help You with Harassing Communications from Comenity Bank or Victoria's Secret
If you are receiving unwanted solicitations or debt collection calls from Victoria's Secret or Comenity Bank, we can help put a stop to these harassing calls. We can assist you with your Victoria's Secret credit card debt collection case, notify the creditor to stop harassing you and discuss your options regarding potential financial recovery. Feel free to call us at 1-800-219-3577 or complete the form on this site for a free no obligation case evaluation. We handle cases nationwide.
If you receive three or more calls a day from Comenity, contact us now for help.