Is the phone constantly ringing from debt collectors? Did you know that the United States Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1977 to help protect you? This act was passed to protect all consumers from any harassment or abuse from debt collectors. We will discuss your rights and what a debt collector is allowed to leave on a voice mail or message to you.
That Message was not for me!
You are just getting home from work and you have a new message on your voicemail. To your surprise it is a debt collector, but the message is not regarding your debt, but it is for your mother. Already the debt collector is violating FDCPA policy by stating they are calling to collect on a debt but attempting to contact another party. Debt collectors may leave a message regarding a relative only if they are trying to locate an address or phone number. They cannot state what they are calling about. The collectors must also clearly state the debt collection company they are working for, and the phone number they can be contacted at.
Leaving Messages at Work?
The FDCPA does not allow a debt collector to call any third parties and leave messages regarding your debt, especially at your place of work. The debt collectors are in strict violation of federal laws and should be made aware of it. Since most voicemail systems can be accessed by different employees, it is easy for a coworker or employee to realize that you are being contacted by a debt collector. You have rights protected by law, stand up for them and do not let the collectors get the best of you.
Am I going to Jail?
Have you come home to a voicemail threatening to send you jail if you do not pail the debt? Or maybe that the debt collection agency is going to notify the police? The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is clear in their statements that it is against the law to threaten individuals with jail time. If you have any message indicating the above threats, keep them and you can sue and possibly receive damages pertaining to these threats. There is a ZERO tolerance for this type of behavior.
Enough is Enough
No matter how aggressive the debt collectors may be, they cannot bully you. Some collectors do not seem to care about the boundaries that are set for them, while others are sure to stick to the policies in place by the FDCPA. For the ones who do not follow the law, there may be a chance you can collect damages from what they are doing to you. Some debt collectors may feel that if they are forceful enough it will scare you into paying the debt, even if you have already possibly paid it. Do not let the person on the other end of the line scare you into paying. Know your rights and contact a FDCPA attorney to discuss your options.