- 1 Are Telephone Harassment Laws Being Glammed Into the Modern Bill Of Rights?
- 2 The Davison attorney has represented many individuals who have been threatened or harassed via phone calls.
Are Telephone Harassment Laws Being Glammed Into the Modern Bill Of Rights?
Did you know that debt collectors can use the safe home security lawsuit process to harass you? Even though the FDCPA protects your rights, the phone harassment laws which allow collection agencies to harass people even without a lawsuit, only protect you if you bring a lawsuit. If the debt collector simply ignores your complaint, the law protects you by requiring that they stop the behavior once you file a lawsuit. But what about debt collectors who harass you through phone calls?
A Davison, Iowa attorney, John Davison, knows that many debt collectors have a double standard when it comes to whether or not they should be able to harass you.
In a case that he handled for a client, the court found the debt collector in violation of the FDCPA after it was discovered that he had made repeated phone calls to the client without ever providing any explanation as to the calls. The Davison attorney was able to bring this employer into compliance with the law. In a related case, he was able to successfully argue that his client, a financial advisor, did not receive adequate training regarding safe home security. He was able to file a case against the company and recover compensation for his client from the company’s insurance carrier and bank. While this is a victory for Mr. Davison, there are other individuals who have been harassed and awarded millions in damages only to discover later that they had no legal right to bring a lawsuit.
The Davison attorney has represented many individuals who have been threatened or harassed via phone calls.
He believes that many of these individuals were victims of debt collection harassment which was enabled by their debt collection agency’s disregard for the safe home security laws. Some of the harassing phone calls included death threats and vulgar language. Other telephone calls included obscene messages and numerous references to sexual acts. The attorney filed motions to suppress evidence, to suppress statements obtained through a federal search warrant, and to preclude evidence obtained through a subpoena duces tecum.
The District Court found the debt collection harassment sustained by Mr. Davison resulted from the attitudes and conduct of the defendants.
The Court held that the defendants repeatedly violated the anti-harassment statute and were engaged in conduct which was clearly designed to harass. The Court also found that the defendants failed to take reasonable steps to provide protection against Mr. Davison’s harassment. Accordingly, the Court held that Mr. Davison’s lawsuit was properly upheld.
The Davison case involved a case where a debt collector called numerous times a debtor and left numerous prerecorded voice messages on a debtor’s phone. One message in particular stated that “If you do not get this message tonight, I will come to your house and kill you and your family.” A debtor responded that she would not be harmed and asked the debt collector not to return. Despite this request, the defendant did return and left numerous more prerecorded voice messages.
The Court found that the debt collectors violated the anti-harassment and privacy statutes as well as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
However, the Court held that the anti-harassment statutes did not apply to the calls made by the debt collectors and that they did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when the collectors were not attempting to collect a debt. The Court also held that the defendants were not acting in bad faith when they called. For these reasons, the Court declined to award damages. It is important to note that if the debt collectors fail to show that they violated any laws, then they are NOT liable for civil damages.
If you choose to file a lawsuit based on the practices of one of the debt collectors discussed in the previous paragraphs, it is important to remember that you have to bear in mind that the lawsuit must be brought within three years of the date when the alleged harassment took place. In addition, there is no such thing as an easy way out of bringing a lawsuit. The Court will not grant an automatic stay or temporary restraining order that would prevent collection agency representatives from continuing their harassment tactics. This means that you need to be very careful about choosing your attorney.
Hiring an experienced attorney can ensure that you have strong legal counsel when it comes time to file a lawsuit. Remember, the debt collectors’ goal is to intimidate you. If you let them get away with it, you may not be able to take action against them. Protect yourself by hiring an experienced attorney who is skilled at handling cases of phone harassment laws. You may not be able to get the result you want on your own, but you can fight back and win!