How Do Collectors Have to Identify Themselves? | Minneapolis Consumer Lawyer
Debt Collectors Must Identify Themselves in Every Conversation
One of the most common underhanded tactics used by debt collectors is failing to identify themselves in phone calls, phone messages or written communications. Each time a collection agency fails to identify itself according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) guidelines, the agency violates the law and the consumer has the right to take legal action and demand financial compensation.
Martineau, Gonko & Vavreck (MGV) is a Minneapolis law firm with a strong focus on consumer protection law. We have filed more than 300 consumer protection lawsuits under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and we are one of the only Twin Cities law firms that focuses so deeply on protecting consumers from abusive debt collection practices.
How Do Debt Collectors Have to Identify Themselves?
Here are questions to ask to determine if a collection agency may have violated the FDCPA:
- Does the first communication from the collector/agency, either written or oral, contain the consumer warning: “This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose”?
- Do all communications — by telephone or in writing — indicate they are from a debt collector?
- Did the debt collector send the consumer a written validation notice within five days of the initial written or oral communication?
- Does the validation notice contain all the required information, including the current amount of the debt?
- Does any demand for payment overshadow or create confusion about the disclosure of the consumers' rights as stated in the validation notice?
Failure to comply with any of these requirements is a violation of the FDCPA, worth up to $1000 plus attorneys' fees and costs.
Save Your Answering Machine Messages
These cases of misidentification or violation of the notice requirements are the most frequent violations of the FDCPA cases. If debt collectors leave messages on your answering machines or digital voicemail. Save these messages and seek legal advice about your rights to compensation under the FDCPA.
Our Law Firm Strengthens Consumer Protection Laws in Minnesota
One of our proudest achievements is a case that extended the notification requirements. Because of a lawsuit we filed for a client, debt collectors in Minnesota must now identify themselves in every communication by stating, "This is a debt collector attempting to collect a debt." Previously, such identification was not required in every communication. See: MARK V. JCC 0:09-cv-00100-ADM/SRN
To discuss your FDCPA case with a consumer protection lawyer, call 612-659-9500 or fill out our contact form. Se habla español. Our Minneapolis office is conveniently located in the historic Warehouse District. We represent clients throughout the Twin Cities, Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.