FDCPA Telephone Call Freq. Presumptions FAQ 6 – How does a telephone conversation about multiple debts count for purposes of the “conversation frequency prong” of the presumptions related to telephone calls?

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Q:   How does a telephone conversation about multiple debts count for purposes of the “conversation frequency prong” of the presumptions related to telephone calls?
 
A:   If a debt collector and a consumer have a telephone conversation about multiple debts, the debt collector has engaged in a telephone conversation in connection with the collection of each debt discussed. This is true regardless of which party (the debt collector or the consumer) initiated the telephone call or the discussion of each debt. 12 CFR § 1006.14(b)(2)(i)(B) and Comment 14(b)(4)-1.ii. As a result, if, during the seven-day period after the conversation, the debt collector places a telephone call to the consumer regarding any of the debts discussed in the conversation, the debt collector is presumed to have violated the “conversation frequency prong” of the presumptions relating to call frequency, discussed in Debt Collection Telephone Call Frequency: Presumptions Question 1, unless an exception applies. Comment 14(b)(4)-1.ii.
 
For example, assume a debt collector is attempting to collect a medical debt and a credit card debt from the same consumer and the debt collector places a telephone call to, and initiates a telephone conversation with, the consumer about the collection of the medical debt. The consumer states that they do not want to discuss the medical debt, and instead initiates a discussion about the credit card debt. The debt collector has had a conversation with the consumer with respect to the medical debt and the credit card debt. If, during the seven-day period following the conversation, the debt collector places a telephone call to the consumer regarding either debt, the debt collector would be presumed to violate the “conversation frequency prong” of the presumptions relating to call frequency for that debt, even though the consumer initiated the conversation about the credit card debt. See Comments 14(b)(4)-1.ii. and -2.vi.
 
For more information about the presumptions related to telephone call frequency, see Debt Collection Telephone Call Frequency: Presumptions Question 1. For more information about the prohibition against repeated or continuous telephone calls or conversations, see Section 7 in the Debt Collection Small Entity Compliance Guide.
Updated October 1, 2021
 

 
This Q&A was created based on information from CFPB’s website (which may be updated from time to time) that provides Debt Collection Rule FAQs.  This information may be found on CFPB’s website here:  https://www.consumerfinance.gov/compliance/compliance-resources/other-applicable-requirements/debt-collection/debt-collection-rule-faqs/
 

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