BRM 2017 July 2017 - Page 45

The Federal Trade Commission, in cooperation with Congress, passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1978. It was last amended in 2010. This was passed to protect the consumer against aggressive, and sometimes, humiliating practices by the money loving banks. In my opinion, banks are the root of most of the evil in this world. They care nothing about the people they serve, just their bottom line. The bankers are what caused our global housing market crash in 2008. Check out the film called “The Big Short”. It will open your eyes to the greedy world of banking and Wall Street. It scared the shit out of me. The rights afforded to you by the FDCPA, as the consumer, was created to protect you against the evil assholes.

Under the FDCPA, there are rules such as:

15 USC 1692d § 806(5)

oCausing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.

This means that they cannot call you multiple times a day. A call a week is OK. More than one call a week is harassment. Certainly more than one call in the same day is an abuse, particularly if you hang up and the collector calls right back.

Another rule is:

15 USC 1692d § 806(6)

oExcept as provided in section 1692b of this title, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller’s identity.

This means, they need to tell you who they are, why they are calling you. If they leave no message, they are in violation of this rule.

According to Christie D. Archovich P.A., (https://www.christiearkovich.com/debt-collectors-calling-your-cell-phone-tcpa-protections-you-sho.html):

“Are debt collector calls to a cell phone legal? In many situations they are not. But debt collectors will call you anyway because they know you likely won't do much about it.

You can stop these calls to your cell phone however. And if the calls don't stop, the collector must pay damages of $500.00 per call, $1,500 per call if willful.

Congress passed a law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to govern telemarketing. However, it also applies to debt collection calls. Basically, the TCPA provides that companies including debt collectors can't call your cell with an auto dialer. If you don't know what an auto dialer is don't worry. Just know that nowadays pretty much all collection calls are made by an auto dialer. You'll usually hear a short pause before the call connects.

These calls are legal ONLY if the debt collector has your permission to call your cell. You may have listed your cell number on the application for credit, or maybe the company trapped your phone number when you used your cell to call them.”

Now, that being said, if you listed your cell phone number as your primary contact number when signed up for the account, then they can call it. It, basically, gives them permission to call it. If you listed it as a cell phone number (most companies will ask for multiple numbers to call), this does not give them permission to call your mobile.

Bottom Line

If you are having trouble getting your payments on time, by all means, contact the creditor. They will usually work with you to get things taken care of. If you make reasonable arrangements with them, they will help you. In most cases. Some will just demand more and will not help you. Those are, usually, the ones breaking the rules.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!!

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