How to stop debt collectors from auto-dialing your cell phone!

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks
Debt collectors commonly use auto-dialing or pre-recorded messages when they initially contact people. However, if these calls are made to your cell phone, the collector has likely violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

If you gave permission to a collection agency or an original creditor to call your cell phone, then it may be appropriate if they use auto-dialers when trying to reach you to collect a debt. But if you did not give permission then using an auto dialer violates federal law.  And, if you did give permission -you may want to consider revoking that permission. Auto-dialers or predictive dialers are the computer generated calls to your cell phone.

Read on to learn how you can stop debt collectors from calling your cell phone and protect yourself from abusive debt collection practices; from my friend and consumer attorney, John Watts, with Alabama Consumer Law.

This week I have spoken with and met with a number of people who are very knowledgeable about their rights under the law but were not aware of the right to stop auto dialer (computer dialed) calls to their cell phone.

I know this will be a reminder for many of you but if you did not give permission for a company to call your cell phone, then it is likely illegal under the federal law TCPA if the calls are auto dialed or contain "pre-recorded" messages.

But what if you have given or may have given permission?

Here's the simple solution that you can consider (of course check with a lawyer in your state before sending this)....

Send a certified letter, return receipt requested that says something like this:

Dear Sir or Madam,

You have been calling me on one or more collection accounts.

Please never call my cell phone xxx-xxx-xxxx again.  I don't think I gave you or anyone related to you permission but if you think I did then I specifically revoke permission right now.  To be clear, never call my cell phone xxx-xxx-xxxx again.

If you are confused, please write to me and tell me why you are confused.  But don't call my cell phone xxx-xxx-xxxx ever again.


[Your full name, address, phone number]


If the calls continue, then you may be entitled to either $500 or $1500 per call.  Given the way that some of these creditors and collectors blow up our phones, that can be quite significant.

So bottom line don't worry if you gave permission or not -- when in doubt send a certified letter and remove that doubt by revoking permission.  The creditors and collectors argue you can never revoke permission -- I think that's crazy.  If you can give permission, you can revoke it, in my opinion.

For more info on auto-dialers see:

Can I sue a collector for calling my cell phone?

How do I know if it's an autor-dialer?

When you pick up the phone, here are the possibilities as the computer looks for a human collector to transfer your call to:

    * There is a recording that greets you and says "Please hold for the next available representative";
    * A human collector comes on after a brief pause and asks you "What is your name?" as they are trying to figure out who you are while their computer screen is pulling up your information;
    * A pre-recorded message comes on asking you to "push 1 if you are [your name]" or asking you to call back a toll free number;or
    * The call is disconnected or "dropped" if there is not a human being available.

Also see earlier blog: Has Debt Collector Portfolio Recovery Associates Left Prerecorded Messages on your Cell Phone? If so, read this...

For more info on protecting your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act see a few of our earlier blogs.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

1 Comment

How can I send a certified letter, return receipt requested if I don't know the mailing address?

Leave a comment

A memoir exposing the steep price consumers pay when facing mortgage servicing errors, inaccurate credit reporting, illegal debt collection practices, identity theft and weak consumer protection laws. THE BOOK » DENISE'S STORY »