Debt collectors usually contact consumers by phone or by mail, but recently debt collectors started to take new approaches to contacting consumers. Debt Collectors can now leave voicemails without making your phone ring, use voice activated computer systems to make the calls, and send graphic avatars to help you pay off your debt in an email message. Debt collectors using these new methods are still expected to follow provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and not harass consumers. The lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co LPA help enforce consumer rights under the FDCPA and you can read more about your FDCPA rights by reading Collector Harassment on our website.
Debt collectors can use software to send consumers voicemails without ever making a phone ring. Regardless of how the debt collector tries to contact consumers, debt collectors are not allowed to harass consumers. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors also cannot call consumers before 8 am or after 9 pm or contact consumers at work. You can learn more about what debt collectors cannot do under the FDCPA by reading What are some illegal actions that debt collectors have been known to take?
Voice Activated Phone Calls
Debt collectors using voice activated computer systems to make phone calls must be careful to not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA protects consumers from pre-recorded messages or messages sent from automated auto dialers without the consumers consent. Under the TCPA a consumer can receive up to $1,500 per phone call that violates the consumers’ rights. You can read more about your TCPA rights by reading Lawyers Who Stop Junk Faxes, Texts, and Robo-Calls to Cell Phones.
When you seek out legal help from our lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co LPA to protect yourself from a harassing debt collector, our lawyers will notify the debt collector to stop contacting you and to only contact with the lawyer about potential debts. If the debt collector continues to make contact with you after being notified by legal representation not to, the debt collector is then violating the FDCPA.
Emails with Avatars
Email messages with graphic characters known as avatars are also sent to consumers to try to collect debts online. The debt collectors design the avatars to look different in every email, program them to speak multiple languages, and program them to negotiate payments based off of a consumers’ credit score. Emails with avatars are a growing technique for debt collectors because it allows the consumer to check the message and make payments on a potential debt at a time that is most convenient.
The lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co LPA help protect consumers in Ohio who are dealing with unmanageable debt collectors. Our lawyers have extensive experience defending consumers whose FDCPA and TCPA rights have been violated. If you need help dealing with a debt collector that is violating your FDCPA or TCPA rights please contact us at (614)944-5219 or send us a message online. Also, please read our article Doucet & Associates Co LPA Wins a Lawsuit Against a Debt Collector to learn about how our lawyers helped our clients win a lawsuit against a debt collector. Consumer lawsuits involving the FDCPA or the TCPA allow fee shifting, so it is possible to recover all your attorney fees from the other side when you win the lawsuit.