Debt collectors want more power: e-mail, cell, autodialers!
Debt Collector‘s Limits
Debt collectors are enjoying unprecedented prosperity as Americans struggle with the weight of average credit card debt of $8,400.00 and underwater homes. Always make debt collectors prove their authority to collect by producing the original contract. Check with your Secretary of State and Department of Business Regulations to make sure their corporate status is current and see if they are currently registered as a debt collector with your state. If they are not they have no legal standing to collect, affirm or verify the debt and it must be deleted.
Debt collector’s limits pushed by group’s lobbying
The debt collector‘s trade group, known as ACA International, based in Minneapolis wants its members to have the ability to contact debtors using such modern technology as e-mail, cellphones and (gulp) auto dialers direct to your cellphone. These practices are forbidden under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Act was passed in 1977 in a comparative stone age of communications. Debt collector’s limits are not exceeded if they use auto dialers in a reasonable way to contact you through your land line phone if you still have a land line phone. 39% of homes now use cell phones only!
Debt collector’s limits include strict liability on auto dialing cell phones
Since cell phone numbers are not listed in the usual sense debtors should be free to have this form of communication outside of debt collector’s limits. Further complicating things for debt collectors is the portability of phone numbers. Land line numbers can be transferred to cell phones and cell phone numbers can be transferred to land lines. Debt collector’s limits provide for no excuses if they make a mistake in this area. How do they know? A company known as Neustar Information Services has a proprietary relationship with the phone companies and provides instant data for a fee to debt collectors. If debt collector’s limits are exceeded with auto dialing to your cell phone you have a case.
Some Payday Loan Collectors Work Outside the Law
Theere is a real wild west of debt collection out there despite well meaning and strict federal laws. Untraceable phone numbers are available for a song. Unscrupulous anonymous thugs threaten disgrace, legal action…even prison if not paid immediately. Insist on the name and address of the debt collection company and the full name of the person calling. They will get nervous and probably stop without further warning. Record the calls if you can. Let them know they are being recorded. Go to the authorities or a consumer lawyer if harassment persists.
Debt collector’s limits will be eased if they have their way…
Debt collectors also want regulators to specify precise language that debt collectors can use when leaving a voice message, the most frequent source of litigation.
The Top Complaints last year were:
- Calling repeatedly
- Misrepresenting the amount or status of the debt
- Failing to send consumers a required notice about the debt and their rights
Go ahead and record the calls if you think debt collector’s limits are being exceeded…you may have a case