After a helpful business meeting, you access the voice messaging system on your cell phone. With the volume on high, the message left by a debt collection agency resonates throughout the office.
Talk about embarrassing.
A voicemail left by a third party debt collector can cause considerable stress and anxiety. If you are inundated with voicemails left by a bill collector such as McCarthy, Burgess, & Wolff, a landmark consumer protection law protects you against the illegal practice.
Passed by the United States Congress in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits dozens of previously legal debt collection tactics. For example, the FDCPA does not allow debt collection agencies to issue threats of any kind, as well as implement deceptive debt collection practices. Another provision in the FDCPA grants consumers the right to seek monetary damages for one or more violations of what many legal scholars consider the ultimate consumer Bill of Rights.
How Bill Collector Voicemails Violate the FDCPA
Although the FDCPA does not contain language that addresses voicemails directly, the federal consumer protection law does indirectly outlaw the practice of leaving voicemails on work and cell phones, as well as home landlines. Under the FDCPA, a representative from a debt collection agency like McCarthy, Burgess & Wolff must identify himself or herself. Most savvy third party debt collector representatives start a voicemail by leaving a personal name and the company name of the bill collector. The FDCPA legal issue arises when you play back a voicemail left by a bill collector representative. It is incredibly hard for a debt collection agency to leave a voicemail and not have at least one other person besides you hear the voicemail. The FDCPA makes it illegal for a third party debt collector to reveal your debt information to another person.
Words that are Illegal
Voicemail systems can lower the guard of a debt collection agency by encouraging the issuing of threats such as “If you do not respond to our calls in seven days, we will file a lawsuit against you.” All types of threats are banned by the FDCPA, including the threat to take legal action. Moreover, a third party debt collector cannot harass you at work. According to the FDCPA, all you have to do is inform McCarthy, Burgess & Wolff that your employer prohibits such phone calls made in the workplace. Referred to as “right to know,” the provision also covers voicemails left by a bill collector.
Speak with an Experienced FDCPA Lawyer
By scheduling a free initial consultation with a highly rated FDCPA attorney, you will discover whether McCarthy, Burgess, & Wolff has violated the federal consumer protection law by leaving voicemails to you at work and at home. Your FDCPA lawyer might acquire enough evidence to warrant the filing of a claim in civil court. The FDCPA allows for the awarding of statutory damages for all violations of the consumer protection law. If the violations caused you physical and/or emotional distress, you might be eligible to receive monetary damages for your pain and suffering.
*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 McCarthy, Burgess & Wolff or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.