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Monday, November 12, 2007

How to Stop Harassing Collection Phone Calls and Profit From Them

If you are receiving calls from a debt collector who is harassing you and violating the FDCPA,
you can take action to put an end to that illegal activity. This article is not directed toward legally compliant FDCPA calls. However, if a collector is violating the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by making improper threats or allegations such as that he is going to have you arrested if you don’t pay the debt or he is going to tell your employer that you are a deadbeat, you can take action. The simplest, cheapest and quickest action you can take to stop harassing, illegal collection calls is to purchase a voice recorder. For a minimal amount of money at Radio Shack or other similar stores you can purchase a easy to plugin device which will allow you to record your own telephone conversations. At this point, I must give you a legal warning, however. The laws regarding the legality of taping telephone conversations vary from state to state. Some states are one party states and some states are two party states. That simply means that in a one party state only one party to a telephone conversation must be aware that it is being recorded for it to legally be recorded. In a two party state, both parties to the telephone conversation must be given notice that it is being recorded for it to be recorded legally. Of course, in no state is it legal for a third party nonparticipant in the telephone conversation to record the telephone conversation without a court order. Regardless of whether you live in a one or two party state, I would highly recommend that you give the collector notice that you are recording the telephone conversation. This should have an immediate impact on the nature of the call. At the very outset of the telephone conversation, you should inform the collector that you are recording all of your telephone conversations and in a two party state, ask their permission to record the call. If a collector is prone to use illegal or harassing tactics, they will typically simply hang up rather than be recorded. If a collector is only occasionally prone to cross the line and use improper collection techniques, they will, once they know they are being recorded, mind their manners and be on their best behavior with regard to complying with the FDCPA. Therefore in the majority of cases, you will have eliminated the harassing nature of the collection calls, simply by placing the collector on notice that the call is being recorded. However, if a collector did violate FDCPA by harassing you or making illegal assertions or threats, you know have tape recorded evidence of that violation. You now need to do two things with that tape. First, you need to file a written complaint with the government authority or agency which regulates and governs debt collection agencies in your state. They typically will have a form online that you can print off, fill out and mail in. These forms typically do not carry much weight with the government agencies. However, if you make a copy of your tape and attach it to your complaint, your complaint now has instant credibility and will be given special attention. You should also copy the collection agency with the complaint and a copy of the recording. Secondly, you should file a complaint alleging violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act with your local small claims court. FDCPA violation claims can be brought in any state or federal court. On the day of trial, you can give testimony that the call was received on a given date and at a given time and that you personally recorded it and then present the tape as evidence to the court. The tape should be sufficient evidence for you to recover the statutory fine or penalty of $1,000.00 as set forth in the FDCPA. In this way, you have not only put a stop to the harassing phone calls, but you can even profit from them giving yourself $1,000.00 per violation to pay your debts


Anonymous said...

In addition to what you've outlined, you can also stop telephone calls and eliminate the need for recording devices by simply telling the debt collector that you wish to communicate in writing only. A written record provides visual evidence in the event a matter goes to litigation. I've done this several times and it has proven to be effective.

photochuck said...

I have been getting recordered calls at my home saying they were from a debt collector. I called and gave my telephone number but declined to give my name. They said my nubber wasn't listed in thier files.I declined giving my name becaused I didn't want them to link my name with my phone number if they didn't already have it.In this day and time I know they can link my name and number. Am I being paranoid by not confurming this info? Ijust want them to stop calling.


Anonymous said...

thank you for your i found it very helpful and insightful. if i need help i will contact you.

pat1005 said...

I am receiving recorded calls to my work on the main switchboard I have ask them in writing to stop calling my job. What can I do about this?

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the blog, Debt Collection Lawyer.

I need a piece of advice.Courthouse of the State of California issued a writ of execution (Money Judgment) after having failed to answer complaint of plaintiff. Sheriff delivered a copy of the writ to grab funds in my checking account. It's an old debt(but don't recognize the debt and it isn't listed on my credit report the plaintiff's claim is the sum of $1938.00). I didn't have more than $5.00 in my bank account, so I couldn't care less about that, but should I pursue to settle the debt directly with the collection agency at this point in the process? Would a settlement offer letter would work still outside the court or is it too late in the process to pursue a debt settlement? Thanks!

-Dave from California

Anonymous said...

How to check who is calling me? Whenever someone receives a call from a strange number, this question arises. If someone has been abusing its number to disturb you then it is your right to discover the identity of that person. Some governments provide the online resources in order to help the people to discover about the people who have been making their life hard. If you need to know how to check who is calling me then you may research on the Internet for finding any resource offered by the government.

When you would research on the Internet to know how to check who is calling me then you would find two types of resources, public and private. The public resources would be offered by the government or law enforcing authorities of a country. Using the public resources is the best way to check the details of unknown caller. It is observed that the public resources are updated often which makes it probable to obtain accurate and latest information about a telephone number. That is why whenever someone asks me how to check who is calling me then I recommend him to use these public resources.

Many of the private resources are unreliable but there are also some good private resources on the Internet. However, it needs some effort to discover a reliable private resource on the Internet. Before selecting a resource, you would have to research about that resource on the Internet. Usually you would find the comments of different people about a resource on the Internet. These people would mostly be the users of the resource and who could tell you better about a resource other than the user of a resource. If you think that the users of a resource are pleased by it then you can use it for you investigation.

If you have been researching to check who is calling you then you should know that both public and private reliable resources are paid ones. There are also some free resources but there is no guarantee that the information obtained from these resources would be accurate. So, if you want to obtain correct information then you should not think about using the free resources. The online resources would cost you around $50 for buying the membership. After buying membership, you would be able to perform researches for a definite period. You may also plan to pay per research but it would be costly as compare to membership.

If you need further information on tracing phone numbers then you can visit these websites:who is calling me and find a person by phone number?.

debt recovery said...

Good info, this will surely help people like us, facing the recovery agents.