Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is primarily aimed at the three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs), Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, because of the extensive use of the information those bureaus collect and sell.
When it comes to your credit, accurate information is of the utmost importance. Inaccurate information about past and current debts, current credit and other important aspects of your credit can have devastating consequences.
Negative information must be removed from your file after seven years. If you find that you have inaccurate information on your credit reports, do not delay, call us today.
You have the right to one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting agencies. Download the free report below.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE REQUEST FORM.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) generally makes it unlawful for any person to make a call without prior express consent using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice to any telephone number. The TCPA provides statutory damages for each violation ranging from $500-$1,500 for each call, and requires the offending party to pay for the consumer’s attorney fees and costs of suit should they prevail. Suits must be brought in good faith and in the event of a loss, you may have to pay the opposing parties’ attorney fees and costs.
Robocalls, automated or autodialed voice calls, often consist of unsolicited, unauthorized or unwanted voice or pre-recorded messages made by an autodialer or automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) typically designed to advertise the caller’s products or services or for debt collection purposes.
Example of a Robocall : “This is ABC collections and we are calling about a debt, please hold while we transfer you to a representative”
Example of a Pre-Recorded Message: “This is ABC marketing and we want to help you sell your car, call us back at 111-2222”
Tired of bill collector’s harassing calls trying to collect.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) establishes ethical guidelines for the collection of consumer debts. You do not have to tolerate creditor harassment. You have rights and we can help.
Here are some common violations by debt collectors:
- Call you at work about your debt.
- Leave a message for people at work or at home to have you call them back.
- Call others, apart from your spouse, about your debt.
- Tell anyone else that the collector is trying to collect a debt from you.
- Failure to Leave a Mini-Miranda. Debt collectors cannot leave a message on an answering machine without saying that the collector is trying to collect a debt; they must leave their name and company information.
- Illegal Recording of Calls. For instance, if a debt collector calls and begins asking you questions and then tells you they are recording the call, the law has been violated.
- Say or imply anything about arrest, going to jail, or the like.
- Threaten to sue you when the collector has no intention of doing so.
- Threaten to garnish your wages without first explaining to you that a lawsuit must first be filed and a judgment obtained against you.
- Say or imply anything about taking cars, furniture, or any other property and putting liens against your property.
- Embarrass you by saying things like: “You are a deadbeat; why don’t you pay your bills; you are a disgrace; why don’t you get rid of your spending spouse,” and other abusive comments.
- Use obscene and profane language.
- Shout, scream, or get angry with you.
- Give the impression that the caller or his company has some connection with the government, the courts, the police, etc.
- Try to collect the wrong amount: this includes adding small fees; insurance; interest; late charges, etc. or ask you to pay more than you owe.
- Threaten to deposit a post-dated check, particularly when the collector knows you do not have the money to cover the check. Typical situation: “Give us a check to stop the calls and we will hold it.”
- Call repeatedly or continuously. This is interpreted on a case by case basis, but multiple calls per day would most likely be interpreted as an abuse, as would a daily call over an extended period of time.
- Call you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., your local time.
- Call you after you write a letter to the collector’s company telling them not to call you.
- Call you or anyone else (looking for you), after the collector knows you have an attorney.
- Use or threaten to use violence if you don’t pay the debt.
- Threaten action they cannot or will not take.
- Illegally inform a third party about your alleged debt.
- Repeatedly call a third party to get your location information.
|What Should Consumers Do?
- Keep a notebook by your phone, and record the number the call is received from, time and information related to any debt collection call. If you speak with anyone, ask for the person’s name & company name, employee id if they refuse to give a full name, mailing address and return phone number
- Do not give them your personal information, identity thieves often pose as debt collectors to get sensitive information such as date of birth, social security number, current address, etc., and you are not required to provide the debt collector with any of this information.
- Tell the debt collector not to call you and to only communicate with you in writing. Then send them a letter to the same effect.
- Save any and all voicemails, and keep copies of your detailed phone records showing the date and time of calls
- Take a picture of your caller ID when you receive a call to prove date and time, also if it says “blocked” or “unknown” (as debt collectors often do this to “trick” you into answering) this too violates FDCPA.
- If the calls are abusive or touch on any of the points above, or if additional contact is made after you advised in writing that you only want to be contacted in writing, contact an attorney.
Consumers should take notes and record every time a creditor calls and or makes threats regarding collecting.