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A Debt Collector Got My New Cell Phone Number.

Question: A debt collector got my new cell phone number. I get recorded messages several times a day. Is there anything I can do?

Answer:

1. It is a violation of a federal law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to place calls to a cell phone using an automated dialer or a recorded or artificial voice, unless you provided the number to the caller as a means of contacting you. You may be able to recover as much as $1500 per call.

2. You have the right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to direct a debt collector to stop contacting you at a place that is inconvenient (such as a cell phone or your place of employment), or at all. Notify them in writing using means that provides proof of delivery (fax, certified mail). You can direct a debt collector to stop contacting you at an inconvenient place orally, but this should be followed up in writing so you have proof. If the debt collector fails to comply with your instructions you can file suit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Note that giving such an instruction does not prevent a lawsuit from being filed to collect the debt.

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