Chloe Meltzer | December 01, 2022
Summary: Did you have a debt collector leave you a voicemail? Find out if that's legal.
If you are being targeted by a debt collector you may feel like they can take whatever measures to contact you. Being pursued for debt is exhausting, and debt collectors know that if they use tactics to push you to make payments on your debt.
Debt collectors might even call your family members, call you at work, and even threaten you with jail time. All of these are prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Despite this, many debt collectors will violate the regulations of the FDCPA without a second thought. Oftentimes you may even have proof of violations because they will leave threats in the form of a voicemail.
If you have received a voicemail from a debt collector be sure to save it on your phone. This is a perfect piece of evidence to use in a countersuit. Although leaving a voicemail is not necessarily a violation of the FDCPA, there are a few ways that leaving voicemails are.
Debt collectors should never be contacting one of your family members except for a few cases. The first is if they have attempted to contact you and have been unable to locate you. In this case, debt collectors are legally allowed to contact your family without stating that you owe money. They also may not use the name of their debt collection agency unless specifically requested.
Your personal information can never be disclosed to a third party as stated by the FDCPA. The only person to who your debt may be disclosed is your spouse. This means that debt collectors may not leave a voicemail message if it is shared with your employer, roommates, or even your children. If it is clear you share the voicemail with another person (other than your spouse) they will be in a clear violation of the FDCPA.
Because debt collectors are not permitted to contact anyone other than you or your spouse, most often a debt collector is not allowed to leave voicemails at work. This is because typically a work phone will be accessed by other employees or your boss. Additionally, a debt collector may not contact you at work if they are aware it is inconvenient, or against the rules.
Violating the FDCPA means that not only will the debt collector stop calling, but you can also countersue for damages. There are various forms of monetary damages available in FDCPA lawsuits.
Because debt can be extremely stressful, you may encounter physical damage due to the entire situation of being pursued and harassed. The huge number of calls and letters may result in headaches, rashes, or heart problems.
When it comes to suing for physical damages you want to involve a qualified doctor. They should connect your health problems to the FDCPA violations and make a report. You may be able to cover the cost of your treatment and other damages along with it.
With countless telephone calls, it can hurt your emotions but also take a toll on your married or other relationships. If a debt collector violates and lets one of your family or friends know about your debt, this could even be detrimental to your relationship with them. You can sue on this account and recover damages because of it.
When a debt collector calls and leaves a voicemail that disrupts the productivity of you, or your co-workers, it can cause loss of wages. This is grounds to sue and recover those lost wages.
Wage garnishment is legal after obtaining a judgment. Despite this, any wage garnishment that has occurred after a debt collector has violated the FDCPA is not and can be recovered through an FDCPA lawsuit.
Debt collectors may be somewhat aggressive, but there are rules they must follow. If you have a debt collector that is harassing you in any way, you should report them. Although they are legally allowed to leave you a voicemail, it can only be done on a private cell phone where they are sure it will not be heard by a third party. Do not stand for debt collectors that violate the FDCPA. Always save your voicemail messages and any proof that may be usable in court.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
Here’s a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? We’re making guides on how to beat each one.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Being sued over an auto, home, personal, or student loan? Find out how to make a solid defense.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.