04 Mar Can I Record A Creditor That Calls Me On The Telephone?
One of the main benefits of filing a bankruptcy is that the Bankruptcy Code imposes an Automatic Stay of all collection proceedings.
Collection proceedings include, among other thingsletters, telephone calls, lawsuits and garnishments.
If a creditor or a debt collector continues to call you once you file for bankruptcy, a Court may make the company contacting you pay you monetary damages and pay your attorney’s fees for the Stay violation.
So, you’ve filed for bankruptcy and your creditors keep calling in spite of the fact that you have told them to stop.
In order to prove a Stay violation you will need proof that someone has called you to collect a debt.
Some people will keep a phone log that lists the caller’s name, company for whom they work, the date they received the call,and the time it was received.
But there is no doubt that a recording of the call would be the best proof, particularly of whether on the issue of monetary damages since how the caller speaks to you will be an issue.
Did they simply call and not know a bankruptcy has been filed? Was the caller verbally abusive? Did they curse? Did they threaten to have you arrested? Did they tell you that their debt could not be discharged? All of this comes into play when determining the amount to be awarded in damages!
So, can you record the telephone call?
Unfortunately, theanswer will depend upon the privacy laws of theState in which you live.
Some states prohibit recording of telephone calls unless all participants consent. Others, like Louisiana, where I practice, allow recording of a telephone call if you are a party to the call.
Does your state permit recording? The Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press website has a State-by-State guide, on its page entitled: “Can We Tape?”
Make sure you can record the conversation before you do so.
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