Text Messages from Creditors for Debts: Is That Allowed?
When you are living under the shadow of debt, you will also be under the constant pressures caused by creditor harassment. There are several acts that are meant to protect you from creditor harassment — see the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for examples — but creditors are notorious for circumventing them through industry tricks. In recent years, now that essentially everyone has a smartphone, some creditors and collection agencies have even been texting debtors.
Is texting a debtor even allowed, though? Actually, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, it is not in most circumstances. As long as the text message you receive from a creditor is unsolicited, it is also prohibited by the act.
What Does a Collection Agency Text Look Like?
The favorite new trick of collection agencies is sending a text message that deceives the reader into calling them back, which can create some validity to the claim on the debt. It is likely that the text you receive from such a group will try to scare you into thinking an immediate consequence for nonpayment is about to pan out, like an increased amount of debt or the recollection of your property. Of course, the text will also explain that if you call them back at a certain number, you can stop such circumstances from happening.
In reality, though, there is likely no immediate consequence awaiting you. It is just a ruse, and one that violates the various protections granted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Getting the Upper Hand on Texting Debt Collectors
Being harassed by a debt collector through endless text messages is frustrating. But there is a silver lining of sorts. Under the FTC rules, you can actually sue the creditor for an entitlement of $1,500 for the first unsolicited text message, and additional money for each harassing message after you inform them to cease their actions. In other words, the greed that caused them to violate FTC rules to get money could end up costing them dearly instead.
To discover your options and uphold your rights as a consumer, call (312) 313-1613 and connect with Consumer Atlas Law in Chicago. We proudly take on debt collectors and creditors that use flagrant or subtle tactics to violate protection acts in order to chase a profit. With our help, you may be able to collect a big paycheck from the people who were originally trying to collect from you! Contact us online to begin your case.