If you believe you are a victim of unfair or illegal debt collection tactics, submit your information to a FREE* Fair Debt Lawyer by:

The debt collector may just be liable to you for statutory damages of to $1,000, plus any actual damages suffered, plus attorney fees!

Stop collector calls using section 805 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The rules below explain who collectors can call, how often and when they must stop calling you at home and work.

  1. Collection calls to consumers ( AKA Debtors ) – FDCPA 805(a):
  2. Collection calls third parties – FDCPA 805(b):
  3. Stopping collector calls – FDCPA 805(c):
  4. Definition of Debtor – FDCPA 805(d):
  5. Discussion of the call rules

Stop illegal collection calls by learning all you can about section 805 of the FDCPA.

1. Section 805(a): Collection calls to consumers ( AKA Debtors )

Unless you consent or a court order permits, debt collectors may not call to collect a debt:

(1). at any time or place which is unusual or known to be inconvenient to you. 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. is presumed to be convenient;
(2). when he knows you are represented by an attorney with respect to the debt, unless the attorney fails to respond to the communication in a reasonable time period, and
(3). at work if he knows your employer prohibits such contacts.

1. Communicating:
For purposes of this section, the term “communicate” is given its commonly accepted meaning and includes phone calls and messages. Thus, the section applies to contacts with the consumer related to the collection of the debt, whether or not the debt is specifically mentioned. [53 Fed. Reg. 50104]

2. Inconvenient or unusual times or places
(Section 805(a)(1)). A debt collector may not call the consumer at any time, or on any particular day, if he has credible information (from the consumer or elsewhere) that it is inconvenient. If the debt collector does not have such information, a call on Sunday is not per se illegal.

The purpose of this section is to limit collection calls to normal business (work) days which are usually Monday – Friday. If this is your normal work schedule then you could inform the collector that calls on Saturday and Sunday are inconvenient and the collector must then consider these days as “no collection call days”.

If your normal workdays are Wednesday – Sunday, then collectors can reasonably assume that calling on Saturday and Sunday are not inconvenient. However, if you tell them otherwise they must not call. But, this does not mean you can say every day of the week is inconvenient. It’s acceptable to have one or two days that are inconvenient but not all week.

A first-time call on a “no collection call day”, does not violate the fdcpa. But, after informing collectors of your off-limits days, they call a second time on your “no call” day, they are in violation of the fair debt act.

3. Consumer represented by attorney
(Section 805(a)(2)). When debt collectors learn that you are represented by an attorney in connection with the debt, even if not formally notified of this fact, they must only contact your attorney.

Debt collectors who know you are represented by counsel with respect to one debt are not required to assume similar representation on your other debts; however, if you notify debt collectors that your attorney has been retained to represent you for all other debts placed with them, they must deal only with that attorney.

Creditors may know that you have an attorney but they are not obligated to inform the debt collector of this fact – this is your responsibility.

4. Calls at work
(Section 805(a)(3)). Debt collectors may not call you at work if they have reason to know your employer forbids such communication (e.g., you or your employer has verbally informed them).

2. Section 805(b) — Communication with third parties

Unless you consent, or a court order or section 804 permits, “or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a post-judgment judicial remedy,” debt collectors “may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than you, your attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, your creditor, the attorney of the creditor, and the attorney of the debt collector.”

1. Consumer consent to the third party contact.
Your consent to third party contact does not have to be writing. For example, if third parties volunteer that you have authorized them to pay on your account, then the debt collector may normally presume your consent, and accept the payment and provide a receipt to the party that makes the payment. However, consent may not be inferred only from your inaction when the debt collector requests such consent.

2. Location information.
Although a debt collector’s search for information concerning the consumer’s location (provided in section 804) is expressly excepted from the ban on third party contacts, debt collectors may not call third parties under the pretense of gaining information already in his possession.

3. Incidental contacts with telephone operator or telegraph clerk.
Debt collectors may contact an employee of a telephone or telegraph company in order to contact the consumer, without violating the prohibition on communication to third parties, if the only information given is that necessary to enable the collector to transmit the message to, or make the contact with, the consumer.

4. Accessibility by third party
Debt collectors may not send written messages that are easily accessible to third parties. For example, computerized billing statements that can be seen on the envelope itself.

They may use an “in care of” letter only if you live at, or accept mail at, the other party’s address.

Debt collectors do not violate this provision when an eavesdropper overhears a conversation with the consumer, unless the debt collector has reason to anticipate the conversation will be overhead.

5. Non-excepted parties.
A debt collector may discuss the debt only with the parties specified in this section (consumer, creditor, a party’s attorney, or credit bureau). For example, unless you authorize the communication, they may not discuss your debt (such as a dishonored check) with a bank, or make a report on a consumer to a nonprofit counseling service.

6. Judicial remedy.
The words “as reasonably necessary to effectuate a post-judgment judicial remedy” mean a communication necessary for execution or enforcement of the remedy. Bill collection companies may NOT send a copy of the judgment to an employer, except as part of a formal service of papers to achieve a garnishment or other remedy.

7. Audits or inquiries.
Bill collection agencies may disclose their files to a government official or an auditor, to respond to an inquiry or conduct an audit, because the disclosure would not be “in connection with the collection of any debt.”

8. Communications by attorney.
An attorney who represents either a creditor or debt collector that has previously tried to collect an account may communicate his efforts to collect the account to the debt collector. Because the section permits a debt collector to communicate with “the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector,” communications between these parties (even if the attorney is also a debt collector) are not forbidden.

An attorney may communicate with a potential witness in connection with a lawsuit he has filed (e.g., in order to establish the existence of a debt), because the section was not intended to prohibit communications by attorneys that are necessary to conduct lawsuits on behalf of their clients.

3. Section 805(c) — Ceasing collection calls and communication

Once debt collection agents receive written notice from a consumer that he or she refuses to pay the debt or wants the collection agent to stop further collection efforts, the agent must cease any further communication with the consumer except

“(1) to advise the consumer that the debt collection agency’s further efforts are being terminated;

(2) to notify the consumer that the debt collection agency or creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collection agency or creditor; or

(3) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt collection agency or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.”

1. Communicating
For purposes of this section, the term “communicate” is given its commonly accepted meaning and includes phone calls and messages. Thus, the section applies to contacts with the consumer related to the collection of the debt, whether or not the debt is specifically mentioned. [53 Fed. Reg. 50104]

2. Request for payment.
When responding to a “cease communication” notice from you they may not include a demand for payment! Their response is limited to the three statutory exceptions outlined above.

4. Section 805(d) — “debtor” definition

For section 805 purposes, the term “debtor” includes the “debtor’s spouse, and if debtor is a minor, the minor’s parents , legal guardian, executor, or administrator.”

Broad “debtor” definition. Because of the broad statutory definition of “debtor” for the purposes of this section, many of its protections extend to parties close to the consumer. For example, the debt collection agents may not call the debtor’s spouse at a time or place known to be inconvenient to the spouse. Conversely, he may call the spouse (guardian, executor, etc.) at any time or place that would be in accordance with the limitations of section 805(a).

Discussion of the call rules

Many spouses ask if collectors violate the FDCPA by discussing their unpaid debts with their husband or wife. The answer, found in section 805(d) is, it’s not a violation even if the debt existed prior to the marriage or the spouse is not on the credit contract. They can legally discuss details of debts with spouses and, in the case of a minors (less than 18 years old), they can discuss the issue with the child’s parents, guardian or executor.

Typical Scenario

A collector, looking for a male debtor, calls the debtor’s home and a female answers. Unless the female identifies herself as someone other than the debtor’s spouse, the caller can reasonable, and legally assume she is the debtor’s spouse and continue discussing the debt.

However, if the female had identified herself as someone other than the spouse (or authorized 3rd party), the caller must cease all communication about your debt. He can leave a generic message (name and number).

Specific Remedies:
The term “invoke specified remedies” refers to any actions ordinarily invoked by the bill collection agencies or creditors. Choices range from dropping, closing, selling, returning or transferring the account and can include seeking a court-ordered judgment.

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