You need to keep good records of creditor harassment in order to have a good case against the debt collector. The more records you can show as evidence of debt collection harassment, the more likely you will get money damages. The Meyrat Law Firm has a few tips to help victims build a case against the debt collector.
1. Document every phone call call you receive. Make a written record on paper that shows…
- Date and time of each call, how long the call lasted
- Phone number of the debt collector (check your caller ID)
- Company name used by the debt collector
- The name of the caller
- The account number and amount the debt collector says you owe
- Source of the debt (for instance, a medical bill, credit card bill, mortgage, auto loan).
- As much as you remember about what was said during the phone call. (Harsh language? Threats? If you don’t pay then so and so will happen).
2. Record in writing on a piece of paper everything you can remember about what the debt collector said to you during the call, including…
- Threats of legal action or call other you know
- The current status of your debt.
- All language you feel was offensive or abusive (statements like “it’s people like you who make college tuition expensive for others”).
- Statements informing of the consequences if you don’t pay
3. Save all phone records provided by your phone carrier
This is a critical component of your case. Your phone carrier should provide you with a monthly phone record that shows every single call that came in during a 30 day period. From the record you can determine who called you, from where they called you, from what number they called you, when they called you, and how long the phone call lasted.
4. Take “screen shots” of the caller ID and incoming calls on your cell phone. Save screen shots and print images.
5. Save and preserve all voice mail recordings left by collectors on your home phone, cell phone, or message machine.
When you visit the Meyrat Law Firm, bring all of your notes with you so that the firm can evaluate your case. These notes are very important to make a good case to show the collectors violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Legal Problems When Recording Collection Calls
It is without question audio recordings of a collection call can be helpful to prove creditor harassment. Unfortunately, the law on recording phone calls is different from state to state and can get you in trouble. A handful of states like CA, FL, IL, PA make it illegal for you to record a call without the collector’s consent. The Meyrat Law Firm does not want you to get into trouble, and therefore recommends you to not record a phone call without the collector’s consent. If you still insist on recording the call, then please consult with an attorney first.
Documenting Evidence of Autodialed and Prerecorded Calls
- Obtain and save all phone records and highlight incoming calls from debt collectors and telemarketers.
- Make a written record of the calls you are receiving, specifically, recording the date of the call, time of the call, caller’s identity, the originating number, and a summary of any conversations held with the caller..
- Save all voice messages.
- If you have revoked your consent to receive calls, keep a copy of the letter.
- Check your caller ID display for an actual phone number and company name. If ID says “Unavailable,” “Out of Area,” or “Private,” it is a violation of the TCPA.
The Meyrat Law Firm defends clients’ consumer rights in the metro areas of San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Austin, Waco, Temple, Del Rio, El Paso, Dallas, Fort Worth, Tyler, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, Wichita Falls, and Beaumont.