“Are your debt collectors calling cell phone numbers?” “Can debt collectors call my cell phone?” The short answer is “sometimes”.
There is a Federal law that restricts using automated dialing machines to collect a debt.
How do you know if a debt collector is using an automated dialing machine to call your cell phone? Usually, if there is a couple of seconds of silence on the line after you pick up the call or the caller leaves a per-recorded message, it may indicate the caller is using a auto-dialer.
Additionally, if you gave the original creditor permission to call your cell phone, then your permission also protects the collection agency or debt buyer from liability for the call. However, if you receive the calls for a debt you never owed, you could not have given the debt collector your “express permission” right?
According to the Federal Communications Commission recent decision,
collection agencies may call consumers who provided their cell phone numbers to the original creditor.
If you did not give your cell phone number to the original creditor or the debt collector, the debt collector violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) every time it calls you on your cell phone by using an auto-dialer.
Debt Collectors Calling Cell Phones: Debt collectors who violate the TCPA are liable for $ 500 per violation and, if the violation is willful, up to $ 1,500 per call.
If you provided your cell phone number to the debt collector (but not the original creditor) and do not wish to continue to receive collection calls on your cell phone you can send the debt collector a letter via certified mail / return receipt requested stating something like this:
“I hereby revoke my permission, if I mistakenly provided it, for you or anyone else to call me on my cell phone about this account. My cell phone number is [NUMBER XXX-XXX-XXXX]. Do not call me on this number again.”
Since TCPA violations occur when the caller causes a phone to ring, it is important to log all of the calls including the hang-ups.
Additionally, the messages that you receive on your cell phones often violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). You should save all of the messages that you receive. The damages allowed by the FDCPA are in addition to any damages available under the TCPA.
Debt Collectors Calling Cell Phones – If you are receiving calls from collection agencies on your cell phone, you should contact an experienced phone harassment lawyer who is licensed to practice law in your state.
For more information – contact Cynthia Remboldt, FREE consultations can be scheduled by calling 404-348-4081.