Falling behind on bills can cause enough anxiety to affect other areas of your life adversely. Imagine how you will feel when you come home one night after a hectic day at work to find a flurry of voicemails left by a debt collection agency. You feel like there is nowhere to turn, but fortunately, you are protected by a historic consumer protection law that in 2027 will turn 50 years old.
Protections Granted by a Federal Consumer Protection Law
Before September 20, 1977, third party debt collectors rolled over consumers when it came to collecting outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts. Although debt collection tactics softened somewhat from the days of rampant extortion and racketeering, many bill collectors continued to harass and intimidate consumers into taking care of delinquent debts.
That all changed in 1977, with the enactment of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA outlaws overly aggressive debt collection practices that include threatening consumers with lawsuits and using abusive language during phone conversations.
Because voicemail systems were not prevalent in 1977, Congress did not create a provision addressing the voicemails left by debt collection agencies such as Convergent. As time has passed and enhanced technology has made voicemails a vital part of our lives, there have been court decisions that have outlawed the practice of leaving voicemails to consumers at home and at work.
It is virtually impossible for a voicemail not to be heard by someone other than the intended recipient of the phone call. Because it is illegal for debt collectors to contact third parties, consumers can stop the voicemails from bill collectors by invoking the third party provision of the FDCPA.
Other Ways Convergent Can Violate the FDCPA
If you cannot connect Convergent with a voicemail that was heard by a family member and/or a professional peer, there are other ways the bill collector can violate the FDCPA by leaving a voicemail.
According to the federal consumer protection law, Convergent cannot leave a voicemail between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am. Since the FDCPA prohibits repeated phone calls, you take the multiple voicemail recordings you received from a third party debt collector to a licensed consumer protection lawyer for analysis.
Some bill collectors continue to use intimidation as a motivator for consumers to take care of delinquent credit card and personal loan balances. One way to intimidate a consumer is by issuing threats. The FDCPA has outlawed threats of any kind made through the United States Postal System, as well as threats left on a home and/or work voicemail machine. A debt collection agency like Convergent cannot threatened to seize your property for liquidation into cash.
Collaborate with a FDCPA Lawyer
Working with an experienced FDCPA attorney will expedite the legal process. Your lawyer will determine whether you should file a claim or seek another way to resolve your dispute with a third party debt collector.
One way to avoid court is to send Convergent a formal cease and desist letter that requests the end of all forms of communication. Your FDCPA attorney will send the cease and desist letter by certified mail to ensure the bill collector receives the notice.
*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 Convergent or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.