This is a new one for me. When I read this story, I thought maybe I was reading The Onion. But, I went back and looked and it was from ABC.
Here is the opening paragraph: “A debt collector is paying $1 million to settle charges that it illegally revealed consumers’ debts by mailing them dunning notices in an envelope featuring a large arm shaking money from an upside down man, and using text messaging to collect debts unlawfully.” But you really need to read the article, and more importantly, look at the picture on the envelope.
I have never dealt with National Attorney Collection Services or National Attorney Services, the two entities involved in this. But this envelope is over the top. I can’t believe anyone sent this out and thought “hmmm…….this does not offend anyone.” It offends me, and I wouldn’t qualify as the least sophisticated consumer. The envelope is a clear violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Further, I am not sure how they are tracking down cell phones, but clearly they are. This is an area ripe for abuse. If you get a text message from a debt collector, save it. Do not delete it. It may not be the greatest thing to have on your phone, but it will be evidence. Don’t assume your attorney can later retrieve the text message.
Remember, anytime you get something from a debt collector, keep it. Save it. You may need it down the road. And, of course, talk to an attorney before you decide to pay a debt collector.