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DISCLAIMER: This article is based on a complaint. The defendant has not responded to the complaint to present its side of the case. The claims mentioned are accusations and should be considered as such until and unless proven otherwise.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits collectors from communicating with consumers at times and places known by the collector to be inconvenient to the consumer. But what the FDCPA doesn’t necessarily do is draw the line that defines when a collector has been told that he or she is attempting to communicate at a time or place that is inconvenient. One plaintiff is arguing that simply notifying the collector that he was at work is on the other side of that line.
A copy of the complaint, filed in the District Court for the Southern District of South Carolina, can be accessed using case number 23-cv-01070 or by clicking here.
The plaintiff received a phone call at 11:45am on a Saturday last month. He didn’t answer the call, but did call the number back and told the representative that “the reason I missed your call is cause I’m at work.” The defendant “quickly” responded by asking, “are you able to discuss now that you called back?” according to the complaint, which provides no other details about the remainder of that communication.
The following Wednesday at 2:41pm, the defendant called the plaintiff again. The plaintiff, who was at work, did not answer the call, but called the defendant back. This time, the plaintiff said “The reason I missed your call cause I’m at work” but added “My boss won’t allow me to take personal phone calls I had to step out real quick.” The defendant allegedly said during the conversation “we been calling for a while now,” but no other details of the communication were included in the complaint.
The plaintiff then filed suit, accusing the defendant of violating Sections 1692c(a)(1) and 1692c(a)(3) of the FDCPA by contacting the plaintiff at a time and place known to the defendant to be inconvenient and intentionally communicating when the plaintiff was at his place of employment after the defendant knew or had reason to know that the plaintiff’s employer prohibited the plaintiff from receiving such communications.