When contacting a consumer about unpaid, delinquent debts, debt collectors often call several times per day, send demand letters, and sometimes even initiate contact by e-mail or text message. Debt collection calls to a consumer at his or her place of employment, however, may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, codified at 15 U.S.C. 1692 (c), and, more specifically, 15 U.S.C. 1692 (c)(a)(3), "Without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt ... (3) at the consumer's place of employment if the debt collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer's employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication." See, 15 U.S.C. 1692 (c) and 15 U.S.C. 1692 (c)(a)(3).
Therefore, for a debt collector to contact a consumer at the consumer's place of employment without potentially running afoul of the FDCPA, the debt collector must (a) have the consumer's prior consent given directly to the debt collector (or express court permission, which is, indeed, rare); and, (b) it must not either know or have reason to know that the consumer is not prohibited from receiving such communication by the consumer's employer. The fact of the matter is that debt collector telephone calls to a consumer's place of employment can and often do violate the FDCPA.
If you are a consumer who has received telephone calls from a debt collector at your place of employment, it is important to consult with experienced legal counsel to properly ascertain your rights. Under the statutory damages provision of the FDCPA, a consumer is eligible to receive up to a maximum of $1,000 in statutory damages for a debt collector's violations of the FDCPA (this damage award can be subject to court discretion and is not a maximum of $1,000 for each FDCPA violation, but, rather, per action).
The Woods Law Firm, P.C. advances all court filing fees and service of process costs. There is no out-of-pocket cost to you to have our firm represent you in an FDCPA case in the Hudson Valley or throughout New York State. Contact us directly at (914) 996-4593 for a complimentary case evaluation.
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