Cell phones are inescapable in the modern world. Most of us have them with us at all times, always on. As convenient as they are for us, they are just as convenient a tool for debt collectors and creditors to reach you anywhere, anytime.
Sometimes, even long after your discharge, the collection calls just keep coming. While ALL collection calls on discharged accounts violate federal law, there are special, additional protections from being “dunned” by cell phone. That’s because cell phone communications are easy for debt collectors and creditors to abuse.
Congress has enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA prohibits creditors and collectors from making auto-dialed or pre-recorded calls to your cell phone without your prior express consent. The penalties for violation of the TCPA are significant, and are assessed on a “per-call” basis of $500.00 per call made. For calls that knowingly or willfully violate the TCPA, that penalty can be increased to as much as $1,500.00 per call.
Because these calls are automatically dialed (sometimes at a rate of several per day) the total per call penalty can quickly run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. And these penalties are for placing the calls. If a creditor or collector speaks with consumer (or anyone in the household) and attempts to collect the debt, additional damages may be available under the Bankruptcy Code, federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), or South Carolina Code Section 37-5-108 .
If you’re being harassed by creditors on your cell phone, contact us. We want to help protect your right to cell phone privacy.