Credit and Collections Compliance Alert

Credit and CollectionsAttention credit and collections professionals. Debt collectors must continue to obtain prior express consent to call a consumer’s cell phone number when using an autodialer or prerecorded message.

On February 15, 2012, the Federal  Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) imposing new restrictions on autodialed and prerecorded telemarketing calls (robocalls).

A recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling on the TCPA “Telephone Consumer Protection Act” has caused some confusion for collection agents, collection agencies, and some of our clients that use our phone list cleaning tools to identify line type.The ruling talks about a debt collector’s ability to call a consumer’s cell phone through the use of an autodialer.

Please note the following regarding compliance with the TCPA for debt collectors:

  • The recent ruling does not change the existing requirements for debt collectors to comply with the TCPA.
  • A debt collector must still obtain a consumer’s prior express consent to call a consumer’s cell phone using an autodialer or prerecorded message.
  • Links to site regarding TCPA Compliance

The final rule only applies to telemarketing calls and does not apply to collection calls.

Credit and CollectionsDebt collectors must still comply with the TCPA requirements as they existed before the ruling.  This means credit and collection professionals should continue to Identify Phone Number Line Type in efforts to remain in compliance. If you do not know if you are calling a cell phone, landline or VoIP line, you can use our free line type identification tool for single searches or our online batch tool larger lists.

Specifically, the Report and Order implements four new restrictions:

  • Telemarketers must get express written consent before placing robocalls. Consent can be provided electronically.
  • The “established business relationship” exception to the FCC’s existing telemarketing rules no longer applies to robocalls. Under the TCPA, this exception allowed robocalls to residential lines when the caller had an established business relationship with the consumer.
  • Telemarketers placing robocalls must include an automated, interactive opt-out mechanism on each call so the called party can cease further calls.
  • The Commission’s existing rules include a 3% limit on the percentage of dropped or abandoned calls that a telemarketer may incur using predictive dialers over a 30-day period. The current rules allow telemarketers to average the number of dropped or abandoned calls over multiple campaigns. This rule is modified so that the number of dropped or abandoned calls will be measured on a “per campaign” standard.

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Note that this information is not intended to be legal advice and may not be used as legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is up-to-date as when published. It is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area, nor should it be used to replace the advice of your own counsel.

Debt Collection Letters for Creditors

Debt Collection Letters for Creditors

I can’t tell you how many times we are asked about debt collection letters and how to collect on a debt. Well, I finally found a service worth telling you about that can provide a wide variety of debt collection letters for a private creditor.

It seems that the collection business is a big mystery to many individuals and small businesses that are owed money. Whether it’s from a bad check someone gave you (NSF), a judgment, child or spousal delinquencies, or a promissory note gone bad, it’s difficult for the average person to be a creditor.

I have helped many collection agencies and skip tracers with search services and I wanted to introduce a new flat rate collection company that offers debt collection letters for creditors.

If you are trying to collect on any of the following debts try this service:

  • Delinquent Accounts
  • Unpaid Invoices
  • Past Due Bills
  • Court Judgments
  • Unlawful Detainer Judgments
  • Unpaid Child/Spousal Support
  • Bounced Checks
  • Debtors that are companies or corporations

Letters and flat rate plans and packages also available that include a pre-collect or “soft” collection letter as well as a payment plan that allows you to send a reminder letter once a month for up to 12 months if you and your debtor can agree on a payment plan.

It also solves another frequent question about how to report a debt to the three collection bureaus. One of the biggest benefits of working with a flat rate is that there are no commissions or percentages to pay and for only a few bucks you can have your debtor reported to the credit bureaus. This is really your only recourse if the debtor just won’t pay.

Once you report a debtor to the credit bureau they will need to pay you in order to get any new credit. If they try to purchase a home, car or anything that requires credit, your debt will show up on the report. We know of several instances where a very small debt forced the debtor to pay the balance in order to get a car loan.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noah Wieder is President and CEO of Intelligent eCommerce, Inc. and the founder of Bestpeoplesearch is a private investigtor portal and Information Retrieval Services web site where investigators offer searches to businesses and individuals with specific search needs.

Categories: debt, collection, BPS