Is a debt collector calling your cell phone?

Did you know that it is unlawful for a debt collector to call you on your cell phone without your express permission?

Not only that, but EACH TIME a debt collector calls you unlawfully on your cell phone, you may be entitled to up to $1,500 per call.

A debt collector who calls you using an automated dialing system (which is generally how collection calls are placed) without your express consent violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA is a federal law designed to protect your right to privacy and your right to be free from harassment – regardless of whether or not you owe an alleged debt.

The simple act by the collector of making the cell phone call may violate the TCPA, and those unlawful calls add up. If you are receiving repeated calls on your cell phone from a debt collector using an automated dialing system, as most do, you are entitled to statutory damages for each call. So, if they called your cell phone 10 times that could be $15,000; 20 times is $30,000; and so on.

Unauthorized calls to your cell phone are an invasion of your privacy. Don’t let yourself be harassed or taken advantage of! Take action!

What should you do?

One thing NOT to do is be afraid. Answer the phone! Find out who is calling and why. …And keep records! Take contemporaneous notes of each and every call.

Keep notes of any conversations that you have. That’s evidence. Save all voicemails. Don’t delete the record of calls from the “recent calls” screen on your phone. Make sure you save your cell phone bills – and if you don’t have your bills, call the company! Or, go online and get copies.

In addition to violating the TCPA, these collection calls may be unlawful for other reasons. They may violate other laws, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Like all legal matters, time is of the essence. Your rights under these laws expire over time, and proving your case gets more difficult with the passage of time. If you rights have been violated, help yourself by getting help. You will also be helping others victims. By standing up for your rights, you encourage others to do the same, and you send the message that unlawful conduct won’t be tolerated.

Contact a consumer rights attorney for advice and help. Almost all will consult for you for free. If they feel you have case, they will most likely take your case at no (or minimal) out-of-pocket expense to you.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 at 10:46 am and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.