Collection agencies – when is manipulating your Caller ID signal a violation of FDCPA?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA“) prohibits the use of false or deceptive means in the connection with the collection of a debt. So…when Mr. Glover was dunned for a consumer debt and the collection agency that called him had its caller i.d. come up on Glover’s phone as “unavailable” did the agency violate the FDCPA? According to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the answer is “NO.” But…there is more. Mr. Glover argued that in the case of Knoll v. Intellerisk, the Defendant collection agency was found to have violated the FDCPA when it manipulated its caller i.d. to show the name “Jennifer Smith” on the debtor’s caller i.d. device. The 6th Circuit said that Knoll was distinguishable from Mr. Glover’s case.
The difference? Intellerisk was violating the FDCPA by using a false name on debtors’ caller i.d.s. That is clearly using a false or deceptive method in connection with the collection of a debt. In Glover’s case, the agency that was dunning Glover simply made its information “unavailable” to his caller i.d.
Moral of the Story – Note the distinction between the two cases. If a collection agency merely declines to forward its information on debtor’s caller i.d., that is acceptable and does not violate the FDCPA. However, if the collection agency misrepresents its identity on debtor’s caller i.d., then it violates the FDCPA violation.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2007 and is filed under Debt Collection Laws - Federal . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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