Were my rights violated under the fair debt collection act?

Asked over 2 years ago - Orange City, FL

I had a call today from a restricted number I called and answered and was told that I **MUST** call a toll-free number to avoid a court summons, when I inquired about what this information was about I was told that the person on the phone had no idea. So I called the toll-free number with the reference number that was given to me.

After giving the ref number to the operator a Ms. Toni Celli answered the phone and said that she was a Resolution Specialist they were going to summons me to court for a credit card if I did not comply with what she had to say. After I asked the woman politely to please not call and to mail me all information and to give me their address she started yelling at me; when I asked if this was to collect payment on a debt, Ms. Celli would not say however she did de

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Salvatore Ritacco

    Contributor Level 3

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes! Pursuant to the Federal Debt Collection Act, which many states mirror in their general statute, a debt collector must first state that they are a debt collector and any information will be used for that purpose. I would refer you to a specific link at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1692e Paragraph 4 notes that a debt collector cannot misrepresent that you will be summoned to court. A debt collector cannot harass you. I would request contact information, proof of the debt and a request to stop contacting you by telephone. You should then state in a certified letter and facsimile that you only wish to receive communications by written mail, that you are hiring counsel and that you wish to recieve proof of the debt. Both state and federal law allow you to charge someone for calling after receipt of this letter. As a debt collector, my office sends out a letter with proof of the debt and then moves forward with a Complaint and Summons in Superior Court, unless the debtor is willing to enter a payment plan.

    Answers provided are not a substitute for in person legal advice. Answers are provided with a general knowledge of... more
  2. Samuel Carl Aurilio

    Contributor Level 1

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes, on several levels. The "Fair Debt Collection Practices Act" prohibits collectors from threatening to take any action (i.e. "summons me to court") which is not intended or legally possible 15 U.S.C. 1692e(5)

  3. Paula Brown Sinclair

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is not clear, but there is a strong possibilty that the phone call was a scam. Try googling the toll-free number to see if similar instances have been dicussed publicly.

    You are correct to require all communication regarding a claimed debt to be in writing.

    Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
  4. Brian C. Pascale

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with Ms. Sinclair. When someone calls like this you have every right to demand that they mail you proof of the debt. Her reaction was unprofessional, but the people who do that job are not exactly the cream of the crop.

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does... more
  5. Daniel Dwight Bowen

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . There are several clear violations of the FDCPA. The operator at the first number was acting to collect a debt and did not identify themselves as a debt collector. The second number was also a debt collector and apparently did not identify themselves as a collector. The facts you are presenting suggest a smoke screen by the debt collector to make it more difficult to locate them. I would contact an attorney who specializes in FDCPA cases. Go to naca.org to locate a specialist in your area.

    The answer given is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Dwight Bowen is a... more

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