Yesterday, I received a call from a client, who told me that NCO, the world's largest debt collection agency called him after 9:00 p.m. According to my client and to his cellphone messaging service, the call was made to him at 9:02 p.m. Why should anyone care about a collection call after 9:00 at night? Simple answer, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Act ("FDCPA") prohibits any debt collector from calling an individual about a consumer debt before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m.
So, why does two minutes after the FDCPA deadline make such a difference?
After all, what possible harm could those two minutes inflict upon my client? Well, as we all know, debt collection calls are not very pleasant, whether you actually owe the debt or not. The debt collectors have been given broad latitude to invade the privacy of your home by being allowed to make calls over 13 hour period each day, seven days a week. This is an absolute standard. To deviate by even one second past that 13 hour window, chills the rights of an individual to have any downtime in the comfort and privacy of his own home. Many people who are receiving debt collection calls are working parents with children, who have been victims of the economic harshness of our times.
When finances are cut, who are you going to pay?
Will the mortgage company, landlord, car finance agency, health insurance provider or the credit card company?
The same credit card company that has been given carte blanche to charge usurious, Mafioso like interest rates, that unlike any other industry in our country, can unilaterally change the terms of the contract (even when they can find the contract-which they often cannot), to the detriment of the individual. The same individual who procured the credit card in good faith, only to eventually be victimized by laws in those states (South Dakota, in particular) who had, virtually no industry and, therefore, relatively little corporate tax revenue. That is, until they figured out that they could lure the credit industry by imposing virtually no regulation or consumer protection laws.
The next time you're kicking back in your home and winding down after a hard and, often stressful day's work, imagine your phone ringing at two minutes after nine and see how you feel. You might even be sleeping by then or just dozing off on your sofa (like I often do at that time). Between landlines and cellphones, just one phone call at the wrong time, might be enough to ruin whatever TV show you're enjoying or book you're reading or interfering with some valuable, family time.
For NCO's transgression, this will cost them as I now prepare to sue the company. If I prevail, under the FDCPA, NCO will have to pay my client up to (and very often) $1,000 and pay my reasonable attorney's fees and costs in filing suit. Thank you NCO for being insensitive to both the law and my client's privacy rights.
If you are being harassed by a creditor and need assistance with debt collection abuse then you should contact a Philadelphia Debt Collection Defense Attorney to assist with your case. At our law firm we understand the legal dedication and experience you need, contact the firm to schedule a consultation today.