Collector – May 2019 - 52

Too Much of a Good Thing?
A quick review of federal and state call frequency requirements.

O

ne of the quickest ways to contact
consumers is by calling them.
Unlike a letter or text message,
a telephone conversation can provide an
assured connection with the consumer.
While the ability to connect quickly
benefits accounts receivable management
companies, the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act states that causing a telephone
to ring or engaging any person in telephone
conversation repeatedly or continuously is
a form of harassment and violates Section
806 of the act.
Armed with this information, debt
collectors are faced with an important
question: How many phone calls can be made
before they are considered harassment?
Unfortunately, the FDCPA does not
provide much in the way of an answer to
this question. It neither defines the terms
"repeatedly" or "continuously," nor does
it set forth a specific number of calls that
constitute harassment. That's why it's difficult
for debt collectors to determine exactly what
constitutes calling a consumer in a repeated
or continuous manner in violation of the act.
Fortunately, the courts and state law have
provided some guidance as to what may
qualify as harassment.
In cases where the court is called on
to determine whether the frequency of a
debt collector's calls violate the FDCPA,
it tends to look at the specific facts of the
case. Some factors that the court considers
when making its decision include the
volume, pattern and frequency of contacts
and attempted contacts, whether calls were
made multiple times in a day and whether
the consumer requested the collector to stop
calling. However, this list is not exhaustive
and there are other factors that the court
considers as well.
In addition to complying with the FDCPA,
debt collectors must also comply with the
law of the state where the consumer resides.
A handful of states have established call

52

frequency requirements that are more
definitive than the FDCPA. Debt collectors
should ensure they have standardized policies
and procedures related to call frequency,
incorporating any relevant state requirements.
For example, one state does not allow a debt
collector to communicate with any particular
person more than once per week or a total of
three times during any 30-day period unless
requested to do so by the person.
The ACA SearchPoint document, Frequency
of Collection Calls: What Constitutes
Harassment, explores call frequency under the
FDCPA, including an analysis of court cases
and a list of related state laws.
Have you checked out ACA's member-only
SearchPoint library? ACA's SearchPoint
library is filled with documents that
put important compliance information
related to the FDCPA. FCRA, TCPA,
state laws and many other topics at your
fingertips. To access ACA SearchPoint, visit
acainternational.org/searchpoint.

Built for start-ups. Scalable for growth.
Demo.Collect-Cloud.com | Collect.org

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Collector – May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – May 2019

Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
The Robot Revolution
ACA International’s 2019 Convention & Expo
Number Crunching
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Regulators Should Be In The Business Of Helping The Regulated Comply
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – May 2019 - Cover1
Collector – May 2019 - Cover2
Collector – May 2019 - 1
Collector – May 2019 - 2
Collector – May 2019 - 3
Collector – May 2019 - Upfront
Collector – May 2019 - 5
Collector – May 2019 - Industry News
Collector – May 2019 - 7
Collector – May 2019 - 8
Collector – May 2019 - 9
Collector – May 2019 - 10
Collector – May 2019 - 11
Collector – May 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – May 2019 - 13
Collector – May 2019 - FYI
Collector – May 2019 - 15
Collector – May 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – May 2019 - 17
Collector – May 2019 - The Robot Revolution
Collector – May 2019 - 19
Collector – May 2019 - 20
Collector – May 2019 - 21
Collector – May 2019 - ACA International’s 2019 Convention & Expo
Collector – May 2019 - 23
Collector – May 2019 - 24
Collector – May 2019 - 25
Collector – May 2019 - 26
Collector – May 2019 - 27
Collector – May 2019 - 28
Collector – May 2019 - 29
Collector – May 2019 - 30
Collector – May 2019 - 31
Collector – May 2019 - 32
Collector – May 2019 - Number Crunching
Collector – May 2019 - 34
Collector – May 2019 - 35
Collector – May 2019 - Calendar
Collector – May 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – May 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – May 2019 - 39
Collector – May 2019 - 40
Collector – May 2019 - 41
Collector – May 2019 - 42
Collector – May 2019 - 43
Collector – May 2019 - 44
Collector – May 2019 - 45
Collector – May 2019 - 46
Collector – May 2019 - 47
Collector – May 2019 - 48
Collector – May 2019 - Regulators Should Be In The Business Of Helping The Regulated Comply
Collector – May 2019 - 50
Collector – May 2019 - 51
Collector – May 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – May 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – May 2019 - Membership
Collector – May 2019 - 55
Collector – May 2019 - Last Word
Collector – May 2019 - Cover3
Collector – May 2019 - Cover4
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