Can Debt Collectors Call Your Cell Phone?

11 Oct Can Debt Collectors Call Your Cell Phone?

Currently, debt collectors are not permitted to call you on your cell phone, nor can they send you text messages about your overdue bills.

Not surprisingly, our “friends” (and I use that term loosely) in the debt collection industry are looking for ways to change those limitations.

Debt collectors want federal officials to allow them to contact debtors by cell phone and e-mail. As Reuters reports, industry executives have been working hard to lobby the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is considering whether changes are needed in the decades-old Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and lobbyists are hoping to get them to include provisions permitting an expanded means of contacting consumers.

In an interview this summer, Roxanne Andersen, general counsel for ACA International, the nation’s largest collection trade group, told a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that many debtors no longer have land lines, making it difficult for collectors to reach them. Ms. Andersen went on to say that, “the law needs to allow for communication in the way that people use technology today. That means e-mail, text message, voice-mail messages. It doesn’t mean we want carte blanche access.”

Will the FTC cave in to special interests who want to be able to hound you day and night at home, work and on your cell phone? Will it impact the way that consumers view their cell phones, currently the only way that many people can receive phone calls without worrying about who is on the other end? Only time will tell.

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.
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