Bill collectors are often determined to get the money that you owe to a lending organization. However, they could intentionally or unintentionally violate the law by leaving illegal voicemail messages. In some cases, these collectors know that they violate the law, but they continue to do their actions illegally. There are different types of illegal voicemails that you should know
- Threat and lies: It is quite common for bill collectors to use threats and lies. They are not reluctant to act threateningly. If you have problem paying the debt on time due to financial hurdles, you can expect that collectors will become bolder in breaking the law. As an example, debt collectors could say that they are backed with the district attorney’s office or the police to demand the money from you. Bill collectors could even claim that they are collectors. Another form of threatening voicemail message is that by saying a lawsuit is already filed against you and it is a lie. Abusive collectors will always lie about many things, so they can be paid. As an example, collectors could threaten subjects with deportation.
- Third party disclosures: Abusive collection agencies know that there are other people who will hear their voicemail messages. Most of the time, answering machines automatically plays over the speaker. Tension in the family can happen when others hear about this. In this situation, third party disclosure already happens. In reality, third party disclosure is a violation of the law, but bill collectors intentionally use this. In fact, collectors could intentionally leave messages to voicemails owned by third parties to intimidate you.
- Not leaving their identity and intention: When collectors contact you, they should clearly tell you the name of the debt collection agency and they seek to collect the debt. This is also known as the mini-Miranda, which is intended to prevent abusive individuals to lie about their calls. So, you will know that you are dealing with an actual debt collection agency. Unfortunately, many debt collectors refuse to obey this and they don’t provide the mini-Miranda disclosure. They do this because they want to create the feeling of uncertainty. When people are feeling uncertain, it is more likely for them to get anxious and comply to the demand of the bill collectors. Mini-Miranda is also useful to prevent third party disclosure from happening.
When someone leaves illegal voicemail messages, you should save them immediately. You should make multiple copies in your hard drive, USB flash drive, cloud storage and smartphone. This is a strong evidence, so if you lose it, you can’t report the illegal activities. The next step is to contact the consumer attorney, who will inform you about available options. A reliable attorney will listen to your case and explain what options that are available for you. The attorney could also explain the benefits and drawbacks of each option. If you win the case against the bill collectors, other bill collection agencies will be reluctant to repeat that again.