Don’t Be Bullied by Autocalls
When you’re in debt, it’s easy to feel as though you don’t have any rights in your situation. It’s easy to be bullied. But as a collection lawyer can tell you, there are protections in place to ensure that you do not have to cope with certain disruptive collection practices. One of the most important of these protections extends to your cell phone.
What is the TCPA?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was set up to preserve the rights of debtors against harassment. There are several important components to this law. Here are some of them:
- call you before 8am or after 9pm.
- call a cell phone or a hospital room using automated dialing.
- maintain (and honor) a Do-Not-Call list.
- subscribe to (and honor) the National Do Not Call Registry.
- provide a name as well as contact information for the creditor on whose behalf the call is made.
These regulations are set up to protect consumers from overly aggressive behavior on the part of collections agencies. If you have been subjected to any of these practices, take action. You have several options for fighting back.
How do I know the incoming calls violate TCPA?
There are a few big clues that can help you decide whether a creditor is violating your rights. At one time or another, many of us have heard our names being grossly mispronounced by a monotone computer. If you hear it on a cell phone call or on your voicemail, you’ve been autodialed.
But sometimes it’s not so easy. Often, we just receive messages that sound a little too perfect and a little too rehearsed. That can be a sign of autodialing.
Another, more obvious sign is multiple identical messages. If they sound exactly the same, it’s a good chance you’ve been autodialed. While many collection agents work with scripts, it’s pretty unlikely that they would achieve that level of uniformity.