Updated on July 3rd, 2023
Author: Contributor: Sergei Lemberg
Leaving a voicemail for a consumer is always a risky business for debt collectors, because there is a chance they have the wrong number. Leaving a limited content message is a way debt collectors may leave messages while avoiding violating the FDCPA’s rule against third party disclosure.
Limited content messages are not considered “communications” under the law, therefore debt collectors avoid the risk of an FDCPA violation when they are not completely certain they are leaving a voicemail for the correct person. A voicemail is considered a limited contact message in compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s 2021 Debt Collection Book if it contains the following:
As long as the debt collector follows the above guidelines, the message will not be regarded as a third party communication and therefore will not be a violation of the FDCPA. Text messages sent to mobile phones will not be considered limited content messages, even if they are in compliance with the rule.
Sergei Lemberg is a consumer rights attorney, practicing since 2006, whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He is known for a United States Supreme Court case (Facebook v. Duguid) defending consumers from autodialers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 to send unsolicited text messages. He is also the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.