If creditors are calling nonstop as a form of harassment, consumers have rights. Theron Morrison asserts and protects these important, valuable rights on behalf of Utah consumers each and every day. The Federal Debt Collectors Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) contain rules that regulate how and when a creditor may contact a consumer.
The FDCPA allows debt collectors to call consumers at home, but only between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. local time. Debt collectors may not call at an unusual time or place, or any other place that they should know causes inconvenience to the debtor.
Debt collectors also may NOT:
- cause your telephone to ring repeatedly;
- engage you in a telephone conversation with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass you or anyone residing at the telephone number’s physical location.
While debt collectors may call consumers at a telephone number provided in a credit application, they may not contact consumers at work if the debt collector has knowledge that a consumer is not allowed to receive calls at work. Thus, it is important to notify debt collectors if an employer does not permit certain types of calls, i.e., personal, at work.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was enacted by Congress as a response to the growing number of unregulated and harassing telemarketing calls and faxes. In July 2015, the FCC officially released the TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order, which defined some TCPA terms and further clarified restrictions on telemarketers and consumer rights. Some important components of the TCPA order include the following:
- Telephone service providers can offer robocall blocking to consumers.
- Telemarketers may not use automated dialing to call wireless phones and leave prerecorded telemarketing messages without the consent of the consumer.
- Consumers may revoke consent to receive calls or SMS messages in any ‘reasonable’ way, at any time.
- Callers must cease calling any reassigned phone numbers, whether wired or wireless.
- Consent also transfers when a person ports their landline phone number to a wireless number.
- While some circumstances defined as “urgent” still allow a collector to call or send SMSes to wireless phones without prior consent (fraud alerts or prescription refill reminders), the company instigating such communications must offer consumers an ‘opt-out’ option.
Federal law requires that consumers send a written “cease and desist” letter to stop debt collector calls on cellular or home telephones. For calls received at a workplace, consumers must only provide a verbal notice to make a debt collector cease all calls.
If creditors are calling around the clock, the Morrison Law Group can help to stop this harassment. Theron Morrison and his team of attorneys will assert your rights under federal and state law to ensure that debt collectors act within the law. Call today to schedule a FREE consultation. Call the Morrison Law Group at 801.456.9933 today. We are Utah’s only statewide bankruptcy law firm and have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.