The violation of excessive phone calls is perhaps the easiest to understand. Most consumers, if not all, are able to identify when they are receiving a high amount of phone calls. However, a lot of consumers do not understand what their rights are regarding an excessive amount of phone calls or how to protect themselves from phone call harassment. If you are receiving more than three calls a day, there are a few steps you can take to determine if the amount of calls you are receiving constitutes harassment, including:
- Keep a CALL LOG. Click here for a CALL LOG worksheet
- Write down the date and time each call came through
- If you can, organize the call log so that you group the same numbers together
- When you have a CALL LOG completed, let us know. We are more than happy to review your records to see if you might have a case against the debt collector for harassment
While you are keeping track of the calls, you should keep a few things in mind. If you are receiving more than two phone calls per day over a period of time from the same collection company, you may be getting harassed. Debt Collection companies often use multiple phone numbers so that you are not aware of their multiple phone calls. Debt Collection companies often block the phone number they are calling you from so that you are not able to keep record of their phone calls.
How Many Phone Calls Are Allowed?
Section 1692d(5) of the FDCPA prohibits collectors from "[c]ausing 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." However, the definition of repeatedly or continuously is left vague. Are two calls in a day considered repeatedly? What if a collector calls 20 times in a month? What if a collector calls 75 times in a month? Unfortunately, the answer is it depends. Different courts offer different rulings for different plaintiffs. But there are some general guidelines you should be aware of, including:
- If you are receiving more than two phone calls per day over a period of time from the same collection company, you may be getting harassed.
- Debt Collection companies often use multiple phone numbers so that you are not aware of their multiple phone calls.
- Debt Collection companies often block the phone number they are calling you from so that you are not able to keep record of their phone calls.
What Do I Do to Stop the Phone Calls?
There are two effective ways to stop the phone calls. Both options should be weighed when considering the best option for you.
Building a Lawsuit Against the Collector for Harassing Phone Calls
The lawsuit option gives the consumer the ability to both stop the phone calls and go after the debt collector for restitution regarding the harassment. To build a case against a collection company, simply keep call records of the calls you have received. After you have at least two weeks worth of records, call our office and ask one of our representatives to review your cal records. Our trained staff will be able to identify any harassment and refer you to an attorney in your area to represent you against the debt collector. The best part is that both the services of our office and those of the attorney are completely free to you. Under the FDCPA, the debt collector is required to pay for your attorney fees and you are entitled to up to $1,000 from the debt collector. To create a call log, you can use any piece of paper. However, here is a simple one you can print out and use.
Cease and Desist Letters
The FDCPA provides that "If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to the debt, except -
- to advise the consumer that the debt collector's further efforts are being terminated;
- to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or
- where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy."
FDCPA Section 805 of Public Law. Codified at 15 U.S.C. Section 1692c(c)(2011) (emphasis supplied).
The two requirements of a cease and desist letter are that (1) the consumer informs the debt collection company in writing to (2) cease any further phone calls. If you do send a cease and desist letter to a debt collector in writing and still receive phone calls, your rights afforded under the FDCPA may be violated and you may want to talk with an attorney about any possible action(s) you may be entitled to bring against the debt collection company. Again, the services of Legal Affiliates and the services of any attorney we connect you to (regarding FDCPA violations) are completely free to you.
You will find a sample Cease and Desist letter here.
Before you send out a Cease and Desist letter it important for you to consider all of your options. Sending out a letter prematurely could increase your chances of being sued by the collector or your credit card company. If you are considering the use of a Cease and Desist letter, please take a minute and call one of our representatives to discuss your situation and options. Our staff is trained and will help you free of charge.