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How Does The FDCPA Protect Me From Creditors' Phone Calls?

It is not an uncommon practice for debt collectors to harass people with regular phone calls and threatening messages. The most typical wish of consumers is that debt collectors refrain from calling them on the telephone, which may be accomplished by sending creditors a letter requesting them to stop. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") protects consumers by limiting the timing and recurrence of creditor phone calls, while also providing the alternative of opting out of collection phone calls with a cease-and-desist letter.

Under the FDCPA, once a consumer notifies any debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer desires that the debt collector cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector may not communicate further with the consumer with respect to the debt, but may communicate the following:

  • advising the consumer that the debt collector’s further efforts are being terminated;
  • notifying the consumer that the debt collector or underlying creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor;
  • notifying the consumer that the debt collector or creditor in fact intends to invoke a specified remedy.

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 should be known to them to be inconvenient. In addition, they may not:

  • cause your telephone to ring repeatedly; or
  • engage you in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass you or anyone else at your telephone number.

Debt collectors and creditors may call you at a telephone number that was provided in an application to obtain credit. Some debtors may list the phone number for a place of employment, which may cause an uncomfortable situation at work. Such phone calls may make it difficult to put in a productive eight hours of work on a daily basis.

While it is necessary to send a written “cease and desist” letter to stop a collector stop from calling you on a cellular telephone or home telephone, it is only necessary to provide a verbal notice to force a collector to stop calling you at work. While it is not necessary under the law that this notification be written, it is suggested that any and all efforts to make a collector stop calling you always include "cease and desist” notifications in writing sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

The experienced South Florida defense attorneys at Loan Lawyers are here to review your potential claims against a debt collector, and will help you recover the damages you deserve. To schedule a free consultation at any of our three conveniently located offices, contact Loan Lawyers today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).