Bloomberg has an interesting discussion of a case out of the United States Appeals Court. From the article: “In this case, Credit Control left a voicemail for the debtor, Stacey Hart. The message was: “This is Credit Control calling with a message. This call is from a debt collector. Please call us at 866-784-1160. Thank you.” In her lawsuit, Hart claimed that wasn’t meaningful disclosure because the message didn’t disclose the name of the person who actually made the call.”
The trial court held that the voice mail could not trigger a lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Ms. Hart appealed. The Appeals Court held that voice mail, by the plain language of the statute, could trigger a violation of the FDCPA.
Why is this important? Many times debt collectors leave a voice mail message as the initial contact. Some of them are specific like this. Many of them are vague and just say they are a debt collector and to call them. You should SAVE those messages. If it turns out there are problems with the way the debt is being collected, you may have a lawsuit against the collector for violations of the FDCPA and potentially state law, such as California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“Rosenthal Act.”)
If you are unsure of what to do when a debt collector calls, you need to talk to an attorney about your rights.