Debt collection agencies may go through great lengths to obtain payment from consumers for outstanding debts. These agencies commonly use robocalls as a way to remind consumers about an upcoming or overdue payment. After casually talking with friends and family, you may have found that others also receive robocalls multiple times per day. What people may not realize is that a debt collection agency can be utilizing robocalls in such a way that it violates consumer rights. A consumer may ignore, block, or delete these robocall numbers and voicemails, hoping they eventually will just go away. Unfortunately, these robocalls are unlikely to halt unless a consumer takes serious action.
What is the definition of a robocall?
A robocall is when a call is made but instead of a real person being on the line, it is a pre-recorded or automated voice message. Robocalls have become an increasingly popular way for debt collection agencies to contact consumers.
Is it a real person or autodialer that sends out these robocalls?
In most cases, robocalls are sent out through an autodialer, which can store an enormous quantity of numbers. An auto dialer is a computer system or equipment that can dial these numbers automatically without much human assistance. A debt collection agency may use robocalls to save money and reach as many consumers as possible within a short time frame. An agency may hope that a consumer is so bothered by these robocalls that they finally make due payment.
What makes a robocall from a debt collection agency potentially illegal?
A debt collection agency must be wary of how they are using robocalls to reach people, as they may or may not know they are violating consumer rights. In general, an agency is not permitted to use robocalls unless a person has expressed consent that they are okay with being contacted. However, this can be misleading because a consumer may not even know what they have done is viewed as consent. The top three ways consent is provided are:
- The consumer listed his or her cell phone number when applying for a loan or credit card
- The consumer updated his or her information to include a cell phone number
- The consumer verbally agreed to receive robocalls
What can I do if I have not found a way to make the robocalls stop?
Consumers who are bogged down with relentless robocalls may want to meet with an attorney to see if there is anything else that can be done before considering a lawsuit. A consumer may have tried everything within their means, but the debt collection agency simply ignored these requests to stop.
Why do debt collection agencies continue to send illegal robocalls?
A debt collection agency may know they are breaking the law, but continue to send robocalls anyways. The agency may assume a consumer is not aware that these robocalls are illegal, or does not have the time, money, or energy to invest in taking legal action.