WHY ARE YOU GETTING CALLS?
If you don't owe a debt or are not the person the debt collector is calling/leaving messages for, it is likely because:
- The debt collection company is dialing your number in error. (This happens often).
- The debt collection company has started calling your number because you have the same or similar name as a debtor in their files. (Collection companies will often pull numbers from telephone directories and other sources without confirming the numbers actually belong to the debtor).
- The debtor provided your phone number as a reference. (You may know the debtor).
Debt collection activities are at an all-time high. Unfortunately, some debt collection companies employ means that are abusive, harassing, or otherwise illegal. Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors (collection companies). The law protects you even if you are not the debtor the collection company is trying to reach. If you are receiving harassing phone calls, you can have the calls stopped and recover up to $1,000 if your rights have been violated.
YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED IF:
- You have told the debt collection company that they have the wrong number either verbally or by entering a selection on their automated phone system (if available), and they call you even ONE more time unless:
-you requested them to do so, or
-they have a reasonable belief that your earlier response was erroneous or incomplete and that you know have information about the debtor they are trying to reach.
- You have experienced repeated calls (including computerized automated calls) from a debt collector.
- A debt collector has called you before 8:00am or after 9:00pm.
- A debt collector has failed to identify themselves when calling you.
- A debt collector has engaged in any conduct you found to be harassing, oppressive, or abusive. This includes the making of any type of threats, use of obscene language, excessive telephone calls, etc.
Note: There are limited exceptions to some of the debt collection activity as provided above. Contact an FDCPA attorney to determine whether a violation of the Act has occurred under your particular circumstances.