To Collect, or Not to Collect?
Recently, a debt collection company agreed to pay $18 million to end a TCPA class action settlement in a California court. The company was accused of autodialing cellphones without the proper consent. The company is now prohibited “from using its Avaya Proactive Contact Dialer to place calls to any person’s cellular telephone numbers without prior express consent.” So, why does this matter now?
Well, according to WebRecon, there were roughly 1,000 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuits filed in April which tallies 3,500 for the year. Consumers are becoming so disgruntled by debt collection calls that they have filed complaints to the CFPB…2,700 of them… in May alone!
The Northern District in Illinois must be working overtime due to its coming in 1st place among states in May with 111 lawsuits filed. The top complaint: attempting to collect a debt not owed.
In light of this environment, companies must ensure they have the proper consent, among other compliance concerns, before placing autodialed calls to cellphones – even for debt collection. This means that skip tracing, calling references, or any other practice where the consumer did not provide their prior express consent to be called on their cellphone, should be under careful scrutiny in terms of dial method.
Further, reassigned numbers can only be called once according to the FCC Ruling. Thus, agents should be trained to ask for the right person, listen to voicemails, tri-tones, etc. and disposition the call accordingly… especially if they’ve already paid the debt!
Whether your company performs its own debt collection activities or hires third parties to collect debt on its behalf, your company faces a myriad of state and federal laws that apply to debt collection practices.
Finding a credible expert with the appropriate background, expertise, and credentials can be difficult. CompliancePoint is here to help.