What You Should Do After Receiving a Phone Message or Voicemail from NYC Debt Collectors

By: Daniel Gershburg, Esq.

A short message.  Pardon the pun.  If you find that a debt collector has called you, at your home in, lets say Brooklyn, and left a message, that debt collector may have violated the FDCPA (Federal Debt Collection Practices Act) and they may be liable in court.  According to the FDCPA, a federal law meant to protect consumers against overzealous collection practices, a debt collector may NOT call and leave a message at your home if you in fact share the phone line.  That means sharing it with your husband/wife/kids/roommate/mother in law (you’ve got bigger problems than debt collection), etc.  A debt collector may not assume that a message left for you in your home in New York will not be listened to be a third party.  This Brooklyn Bankruptcy attorney says that thats an unlawful third party communication and the debt collector may be liable to you in court.  That’s not a shameless plug to get you to sue these people, but there are cases which have stated the same principle.

Furthermore, these debt collectors, in New York, MUST disclose to you that they’re collecting a debt and any information provided by you, the New York consumer, will be used to collect the debt.  So if they’ve had a long day and decide to leave you a message without stating that…they’re potentially in some trouble.  Keep that in mind next to the answering machine says “Hey its Todd…need you to call me back at 555-555-5555…its about your bill and its urgent.”

Daniel Gershburg Esq., is a Bankruptcy & Real Estate attorney serving  clients in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester.  Mr. Gershburg has given lectures and presentations to both debt collection attorneys and the community at large surrounding Bankruptcy and financial advocacy in the New York City area. He is a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.   Currently he is working on his first book giving practical advice about repairing troubled credit and how to improve credit post Bankruptcy