What Does "One-Party Consent" Mean?

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If you’ve ever considered recording a phone call for legal purposes, you may have run into this term: one-party consent. This is an important term to know if you’re thinking about filing an FDCPA claim because it may determine what kind of evidence you can use in your case.

Definition of "One-Party Consent"

One-party consent laws refer to how many people need to agree to being recorded for something to be admissible in court. For example, if you want to record a phone call and you live in a one-party consent state, then as long as you consent to recording the phone call, evidence from that phone call is admissible in court. The other person doesn’t have to agree.

Keep in mind that not every state is a one-party consent state, so you’ll have to check your state’s specific laws on this before you attempt to record something for your FDCPA case.

One-Party Consent Laws and the FDCPA

If you live in a state where it applies, the utility of the one-party consent law is clear in an FDCPA case: you have the power to record the people who have been harassing you. For example, if a third-party collector has been using profane language for the past three phone calls and you want to catch him on the third, you can record your phone call with him and use that as evidence. In fact, if you’re able to record him doing that more than once, then you can establish a pattern of behavior.

Being able to present this type of evidence can make it easier to file a successful FDCPA claim. But talk to an attorney before filing your claim--that attorney’s help and the evidence you gathered could put you on the path to getting the harassment to cease.