The family is gathered around the dinner table when the home landline rings. Everyone remains in their seat, that is, until the voicemail system clicks on and a message is left on the system by a debt collection agency. Did the company violate consumer protection law by leaving a voicemail at the wrong time? The answer is no, but the third party debt collector did violate a provision written into a landmark consumer protection law.
Legal Protections Written into Federal Consumer Protection Law
In 1977, a rapidly growing number of consumers finally convinced the United States Congress to pass a law that included dozens of legal protections against the overly aggressive tactics used by unethical third party debt collectors. As the ultimate consumer Bill of rights, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act makes it illegal for bill collectors to harass and intimidate consumers into taking care of outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts. The FDCPA also gives consumers the right to file lawsuits seeking just compensation for the pain and suffering caused by illegal debt collection techniques.
How Does the FDCPA Deal with Voicemails?
Understanding that the telephone represents a powerful tool for debt collection agencies to use, the United States Congress wrote several provisions within the FDCPA specifically addressing phone call harassment and intimidation. However, because voicemails were not a prominent part of American culture back in 1977, it has taken years of legal precedents to establish the illegality of bill collectors leaving voicemails.
Under the FDCPA, a debt collection agency cannot contact a third party to discuss a debt you owe. In the example we mentioned earlier, the voicemail left during family dinner time was heard by other family members. Therefore, the debt collection agency that left the voicemail violated the third party provision of the federal consumer protection law.
Additional FDCPA Violations Made on Voicemails
Although the third party provision of the FDCPA protects consumers, there are other ways Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. can violate the consumer protection law. If you hear several voicemails left by a debt collection agency on your office phone, you have enough evidence for a FDCPA lawyer to review. According to the FDCPA, it is unlawful for a third party debt collector to leave numerous voicemails over a short period. You also might be able to catch a bill collector using deception on a voicemail by impersonating an IRS or a law enforcement official.
How a FDCPA Attorney Can Help You Fight Back
Blatant violations of the FDCPA can be proved granting you have the recordings of the voicemails left by Consumer Portfolio Services. Sometimes, violations of the FDCPA are not as crystal clear, but you still want a debt collection agency to get off your back. By hiring a highly rated consumer protection lawyer who has litigated several FDCPA cases, you can negotiate a debt settlement with a third party debt collector.
Your FDCPA will use his or her polished negotiating skills to get you the best debt settlement deal. Another way to avoid court is to invoke the statute of limitations set by your state for the collection of delinquent consumer debts.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Consumer Portfolio Services or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.