You wake up one morning to find the home voicemail system lit up like a fireworks display on the 4th of July. After wiping the sleep from your eyes, you listen to nearly five minutes of messages from the same person: A representative from I.Q. Data International, Inc. You have already discussed your outstanding debt with another representative from the debt collection agency. Now, you wonder if it is legal for the third party debt collector to leave you voicemails.
According to an important consumer protection law, the answer is an emphatic no.
Overview of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Passed by the United States Congress in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) represents the ultimate consumer Bill of Rights. Within the federal consumer protection law are numerous provisions that outlaw previously valid debt collection tactics. For example, the FDCPA makes it illegal for a bill collector to ask for money owed on an account that you have already paid off. In addition to prohibiting a long list of debt collection practices, the FDCPA also grants consumers the right to file a lawsuit that seeks monetary damages for pain and suffering.
Does the FDCPA Make Voicemails Illegal?
One provision of the FDCPA forbids debt collection agencies from contacting third parties concerning an outstanding credit card or a personal loan account. How does the provision tie in with the voicemails left by a third party debt collector? It is virtually impossible for a third party debt collector such as I.Q. Data International, Inc. to leave a voicemail that is not listened to by a third party. Thinks about the voice messages left throughout the day on your home landline. If one of your family members listens to the voicemails from a bill collector, then a licensed FDCPA lawyer can maintain the debt collection agency violated the third party provision of the FDCPA.
Additional Voicemail Violations
Let’s say you were the only person who heard the voicemails left by I.Q. Data International, Inc. Does this mean you are not protected by the FDCPA? The third party debt collector can violate other provisions of the landmark consumer protection law, including the provision that makes it illegal form third party debt collectors to threaten consumers. For the example of the voicemails left while you slept, the bill collector leaving the voicemails violated the FDCPA because it left messages between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am. The FDCPA clearly states debt collection agencies must restrict the times they call consumers to between 8 am and 9 pm.
How a FDCPA Attorney Can Help You Fight Back
To prove I.Q. Data International, Inc. violated the FDCPA, you need the legal counsel of an experienced consumer protection lawyer. Your attorney will ask if you saved the voicemails left by the third party debt collector. If someone else listen to the voicemails, your FDCPA lawyer will ask that person to testify in civil court in support of a claim filed against I.Q. Data International, Inc. Other options for dealing with voicemails include sending the bill collector a formal cease and desist 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 I.Q. Data International. Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.