Alexander J. Douglas, Esq. | Attorney | (585) 568-2224 |   alex@lawroc.com

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How often is too often for Debt Collector to Call?

Are you getting a lot of calls from the same debt collector?  Have you told them to stop but they keep on calling?

We recently sued debt collector Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  We’re arguing that robo-calling our client 5 times a day, 5 days a week plus 3 times a day on Saturdays and 2 times a day on Sundays is harassing to her.  The court has not yet ruled on our case.

Although there is no firm rule about how many calls a day is harassment, many courts have found that calling a consumer numerous times in the same day, or multiple times in a short period of time, can violate the law.  For example, one court found that 6 calls in 24 minutes was harassing as a matter of law. Kuhn vs. Account Control Tech., Inc., 865 F. Supp. 1443, 1453 (D. Nev. 1994).  In another case, the debt collector was found liable for harassment when it called the consumer 4-5 times in a single day.  United States vs. Central Adjustment Bureau, Inc., 667 F. Supp. 370, 376 (N.D. Tex. 1986) aff’d, 823 F.2d 880 (5th Cir. 1987).

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A debt collector calling you 2-3 times a day, without other harassing behavior, would likely not be considered harassment.  For example, a court found that daily or almost daily calls did not constitute harassment, Arteaga vs. Asset Acceptance, LLC 733 F. Supp. 2d 1218 (E.D. Cal. 2010) and another court ruled that 2-3 calls a day did not violate the law.  Tucker vs. The CBE Group, Inc., 710 F. Supp. 2d 1301 (M.D. Fla. 2010).

However, if you told the debt collector you can’t afford to make payments, or asked the debt collector to stop calling and they continue to call, that could be considered harassment—even if the debt collector is only calling you a few times a week. See Gilroy vs. Ameriquest Mortg. Co., 632 F. Supp. 2d 132 (D.N.H. 2009).

On the other hand, be careful about telling a debt collector to stop calling.  While the debt collector would need to stop communicating with you, they could still sue you, or send it to a law firm to sue you.  As long as the debt collector is sending letters and/or calling, they probably haven’t sent the account to a law firm yet.

What do you think? Is five calls a day, five times a week, plus three times on Saturdays and twice on Sundays harassing?  Are you OK with 30 calls a week?

If you’re feeling harassed, please contact us at (585) 703-9783 or via www.rochesterdebtlawyer.com for a free consultation to determine if your rights are being violated.

Got debt? You’re not alone.

Got debt? You’re not alone. Each year people pay more and more to lenders.

Check out these frightening statistics: the average household has approximately $15,762 in credit card debt, $168,614 in mortgage debt, $27,141 in auto loans, $48,172 in student loans. The average household is paying a total of $6,658 in interest a year or 9% of the average household income.

Is it any surprise then that as the cost of living (especially medical care, food and housing expenses) continues to outpace the rise of wages, more people fall further and further behind, increasing an already vibrant debt collection industry?  Abuse by debt collectors is as old as the industry itself. In 1977, Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to stop what it found to be the abundant “use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692(a). In 2007, in response to the most recent financial crisis, Elizabeth Warren proposed and established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) “to make consumer financial markets work for consumers”.  The CFPB’s priorities include supervision and enforcement of laws regulating mortgages, credit cards and student loans.

The FDCPA and CFPB are intended to ensure that collection practices are conducted honestly and ethically. They require debt collectors to provide certain legal notices and prohibit them from lying, harassing or otherwise engage in unconscionable collection practices. If you feel like you’re the target of unfair or harassing collection practices, know you have legal rights. Concerned about the cost of retaining counsel? Don’t be. According to the FDCPA, a successful consumer is entitled to up to $1,000 in statutory damages, actual damages (if any) and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. That means the debt collector would pay your attorney’s fees. Because of this provision, most FDCPA attorneys do not charge their clients, win or lose.

Five Signs That You Are Being Hounded by an Abusive Debt Collector

Five Signs That You Are Being Hounded by an Abusive Debt Collector

 

1. Calling at Odd Hours
Debt collectors are not allowed to call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. local time. Sometimes, they will call really early or really late to try to annoy you into paying your bill. This is illegal.

2. Calling Too Much
Debt collectors will often call consumers 5 or more times a day to annoy and intimidate them into paying the debt. If they do this, it is very likely that they are attempting to harass you. This is also illegal, and you should not stand for it.

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3. Their Representatives are Being Verbally Abusive
When you actually take the time to talk to collectors on the phone, they should be polite and respectful. Most of the time, this is the case. However, some debt collectors are different, and turn a blind eye to their employees who speak to consumers in harassing or abusive tones. If they do so, you’re dealing with an abusive debt collector who is probably breaking the law.

4. They’re Threatening to Sue
Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten to sue you if they don’t intend to actually do it, or if they don’t have the authority to do it. Most of the time, the debt collector does not get to make any decision about whether or not the creditor will sue you. So if they’re constantly threatening to sue, you may be dealing with an abusive debt collector.

5. They Misrepresent Information About the Debt
The most common issue we see with our clients is that the debt collector is lies about the debt. It could be a number of things: the amount, the creditor, whether or not it’s already been paid, etc. If your debt collector is doing this, you are dealing with an abusive debt collector.

If you’ve experienced any of these issues, or if you just want to discuss your personal situation, please call or email my office and we talk have a free consultation about your problems.

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Important: The information contained in this website has been provided for informational purposes and DOES NOT constitute legal advice; there is no warranty on this information and it does not in any way constitute a attorney-client relationship.

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