FDCPA Telephone Call Freq. Presumptions FAQ 7 – If a debt collector calls a consumer to discuss multiple debts the consumer owes or allegedly owes but does not reach the consumer or leave any voicemails, how do those calls count?

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Q:   If a debt collector calls a consumer to discuss multiple debts the consumer owes or allegedly owes but does not reach the consumer or leave any voicemails, how do those telephone calls count for purposes of the “call frequency prong” of the presumptions related to telephone call frequency?
 
A:   If a debt collector calls a consumer to discuss multiple debts the consumer owes or allegedly owes, but the consumer does not answer the call and the debt collector does not leave a voicemail, the debt collector counts the telephone call as a telephone call in connection with the collection of at least one particular debt, unless an exclusion applies. Comment 14(b)(4)-1.i. For example, assume that a debt collector is attempting to collect a medical debt and a credit card debt from the same consumer and the debt collector places four unanswered telephone calls to the consumer. The debt collector may count the calls for the purposes of the “call frequency prong” of the presumptions related to telephone call frequency in several different ways. To list just a few examples, the debt collector may:
  • Count all four of the calls as calls placed in connection with the collection of the medical debt or as calls placed in connection with the collection of the credit card debt.
  • Count all four of the calls as calls placed in connection with the collection of the medical debt and the credit card debt.
  • Count two of the calls as calls placed in connection with the collection of the medical debt, and two of the calls as calls placed in connection with the collection of the credit card debt.
Comment 14(b)(4)-1.i.
 
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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