If you are behind on your payments, you usually know it. Even if you don’t, the collection companies aren’t likely to let you forget. But when collection calls use a robodialer or recorded messages, you might have a claim against them later on.

Collection companies don’t scrimp when it comes to telephone calls. They will harass consumers day and night to try to collect overdue bills. But under federal law, you may be able to sue them if they use certain technology, including a robodialer.

What They Can’t Do

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), you could be entitled to over $500 per robocall used to collect your debts. If your lawyer can prove they violated the law willfully, that number could triple. Here’s what you should listen for:
  • Robodialers. If you pick up the phone and are put on hold or hear a delay before the operator connects or if you hear “dead air,” the collections company is probably using an automatic dialer, which is prohibited under the TCPA.
  • Prerecorded messages. If you can’t interrupt your collections caller, it is probably a prerecorded message. That is no good under the TCPA. They have to give you a live person to talk to.
  • Automated messages. Just like prerecorded messages, robocallers and automated calls that insert your name and amount to a computer-generated message are against the law.
  • Cell Phones. If the collections company is calling your cell phone, it may be illegal under the TCPA. But that will depend on whether you gave them consent.

When They Can Do It Anyway

You want to be careful when signing contracts. Under the TPCA, if you expressly consent to cell phone calls or automated calls, it could eliminate your claim against the collections company. Read your agreements carefully to know what you are agreeing to when it comes to collections.
Telemarketing companies can also get around the TCPA if you have worked with them before. So once you sign on with a company, they can use automatic calling techniques to encourage you to increase your contract. But this exception only applies to the contracting company itself. If your creditor sends the account to a collections company, you are still covered.

What You Should Do

If you think a creditor is using illegal robodialers or automated calls, create a log of every time you get a call. If possible, record some of the calls. Then contact a consumer protection attorney like Dani Liblang of The Liblang Law Firm, P.C. She and her team can help stop the harassment and hold the creditors accountable. If you or someone you know is facing oppressive collections companies, contact the Liblang Law Firm, P.C., today for a free consultation.

Dani Liblang

Author Dani Liblang

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