Friday, December 11, 2015

Debt Collectors and Cell Phones

People who have to deal with debt recovery collection activity on a regular basis often complain about the frequent amount of phone calls they receive. While debt collectors have always had a reputation of calling often, this problem has gotten worse due to the fact that so many people now have cell phones, which are carried with them 24/7, making someone much more likely to notice the constant calls.  

What many consumers don’t realize, however, is that there are laws in place that dictate when, how, and how often debt collectors can call them.  In fact, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), debt collectors are not even allowed to call or text cellular phones without express permission from the consumer. Furthermore, autodialed collection calls to cell phones are generally not allowed and can be punishable by $500 per violating phone call (or more!).

While consumers like this law and enjoy the fact that they can simply do away with a landline, say “no” to debt collectors calling them on their phones, and then stop the communication connection, debt collectors are generally not very happy about it, for obvious reasons. As a result, many debt collectors have been petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as of late to have these restrictions loosened, though the agency hasn’t shown any signs of changing its mind.

Consumers who are dealing with non-stop calls, calls to their cell phone that they didn’t authorize, or calls that they suspect to be illegally auto-dialed are encouraged to contact consumer lawyers, which could lead to litigation for debt collection agencies and potentially the businesses that use them. As such, modern businesses need to be careful that their debt collectors are following federal regulations and protocol, as difficult and frustrating as it may be to do so, and consumers need to be aware of their rights to ensure they are not being violated.  #DebtRecoveryEfforts

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