If you haven’t paid your credit card bill or auto loan, you might soon be receiving a call from a collection agency on your cell phone.
That’s because the collection and credit industries are pushing for a piece of federal legislation known as the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011 to pass. As Collections & Credit Risk reports, this piece of legislation, if passed, will allow collection calls to be placed on consumers’ cell phones.
The good news for consumers fearing increased creditor harassment is that many legislators, including many state attorneys general, are opposed to the measure. These legislators mainly object to a provision of the proposed bill that would allow for robo-calling to all cell phones. This, the legislators say, could provide opportunities for collection agencies to call consumers already struggling with credit card debt at odd hours of the day and repeatedly.
Consumers should know that even if they do owe money, they have several rights. Collection agencies are forbidden by federal law to call consumers late at night or too early. And they are also forbidden from calling several times in a day. Collection agencies can’t threaten consumers with jail time and they can’t harass the family members, friends or co-workers of consumers who owe money.
The chances are good that the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011 won’t pass, at least not in its current version. But even if it does, it’s important that consumers don’t forget that collection agencies, whether calling their land lines or cell phones, are not legally allowed to harass those who owe money.
Collections & Credit Risk: “State AGs Join To Oppose Cell Phone Legislation,” Nov. 11, 2011