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(702) 608-4232
pre-recorded messages to calls consumers’ cell phones without consent or permission.

Robocalls, automated or autodialed voice calls frequently consist of unsolicited, unauthorized or unwanted
voice or pre recorded messages made by an autodialer or automatic telephone dialing system ("ATDS")
typically designed to advertise the caller's products or services or for debt collection purposes.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") generally makes it unlawful for any person to make a
call without prior express consent using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or
prerecorded voice to any telephone number.  TCPA provides statutory damages for each violation ranging
from $500-$1,500 for each call, and requires the offending party to pay for the consumer's attorneys fees and
costs of suit should they prevail. Suits must be brought in good faith, you may have to pay the opposing
parties' attorney fees and costs in the event of a loss.  

Example of a Robocall :  

"This is ABC collections and we are calling about a debt, please hold while we transfer you to a
representative"

Example of a Pre-Recorded Message:

"This is ABC marketing and we want to help you sell your car, call us back at 111-2222"

If you received a robocall, automated or autodialed voice call, you may be entitled to recover money
damages individually or in a class action lawsuit.

To learn more about illegal debt collection practices and TCPA violations, click  here to watch
Attorney Tara D. Newberry's recent interview on Fox5
.

Common Violations by Debt Collectors
Debt collectors know what the law states. They spend hundreds of hours going to seminars and workshops
learning how to avoid lawsuits. Despite this, when it comes to leaving voicemails, they just can't seem to
help themselves. There is virtually no legal way for a debt cllector to leave you a voicemail  unless you have
given prior consent. It is also illegal for a debt collector to contact you at work when they know you are not
permitted to receive calls at work, or speak to anyone other than you, including your family and friends.  
Debt collectors cannot yell, swear at you, or lie to you. They also cannot threaten you.   Lastly, a debt
collector cannot contact you when you are represented by an attorney.  The law is on your side, know your
rights.

Threats, Lies and Misrepresentations
We don’t see these as often as the other violations but they still occur. Debt collectors will say they are with
the police or the district attorney’s office, and that they are going to criminally prosecute you if you do not
pay your debt.  Other companies have left voicemails threatening lawsuits that are supposedly filed but
actually were not – instead these were blatant lies. Other abusive collection agencies or collection lawfirms
have threatened people with deportation or physical harm. Any type of illegal threat or lie violates the Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act, as well as Nevada Consumer Protection Laws and Nevada law regulating
collection agencies, and you could have a claim against any collector who violates the law.

Disclosures to a Third Party
Abusive debt buyers, collection agencies, and law firms often leave voicemail messages knowing there is a
chance that people other than the debtor/consumer will hear the messages. Most answering machines play
over a speakerphone so if the debt collector says “Mr. Consumer you need to call us back about this debt
you owe right now” and a neighbor or family member hears this, then a third party disclosure has occurred.
This is illegal. So if the debt collector says “This is a debt collector and this is an attempt to collect a debt”
and someone else hears this – the law has been violated. Often times children or room-mates share a
telephone line and voicemail (whether an answering machine or AT&T voicemail, etc) and so this is a
serious and very common violation we see abusive debt collectors committing.

Failure to Leave a Mini Miranda
Debt collectors know when they leave voicemails they must leave the so called “Mini-Miranda” which is
basically where they say “This is a message from a debt collector attempting to collect a debt”. It prevents
them from lying about the purpose of their call – it makes it clear to you that the call is a debt collection call.
However, many debt collectors refuse to follow the law and make the mini-miranda disclosure.  So why
would a debt colector violate the law?  First, it helps with collection efforts because it creates uncertainty in
the mind of the consumer as to the purpose of the call. Do you call back or not? Second, it helps to avoid
making third party disclosures which we discussed above. But the problem with this second reason is it is no
excuse to violate one part of the law because you don’t want to violate another part of the law. Amazingly,
harassing debt collectors believe they have a constitutional right to leave voicemail messages. They don’t.

Abusive Calling
Debt collectors cannot call after 9pm or prior to 8 am in the timezone of the consumer.  So if they call your
cell phone, they risk contatcing you outside of the time restrictions.  Collectors also cannot call repeatedly or
in a mnner that is abusive or meant to harass the debtor.  Generally, this is interpreted on a case by case
basis, but multiple calls per day would most likely be interpreted as an abuse, as would a daily call over an
extended period of time.

Illegal Recording of Calls
Nevada is a two party state.  Which means, that in order to record a conversation, you must have the
consent of the other party.  So if a debt collector calls and begins asking you questions and
then tells you they
are recording the call, the law has been violated.  They need your consent prior to recording the call.  Often,
a debt collector will say "this call may be recorded for quality assurance" the courts are split on whether the
statement is sufficient because they really should be saying "this call is being recorded and will be used for
debt collection purposes."  Regardless, if a warning or disclaimer is given and you continue to speak with
them, most courts will find that they had your consent.  But if they don't tell you its being recorded or don't
tell you until the end of the call, then it is a violation.

What Should Consumers Do?
  • Keep a notbook by your phone, and record the number the call is received from, time and information
    realted to any debt collection call.  If you speak with anyone, ask for the person's name & company
    name, employee id if they refuse to give a full name, mailing address and return phone number
  • Do not give them your personal information, identiy thieves often pose as debt collectors to get
    sensitive information such as date of birth, social security number, current address, etc., and you are
    not required to provide the debt collector with any of htthis information.  
  • Tell the debt collector not to call you and to only communicate with you in writing.  Then send them
    a letter to the same effect.
  • Save any and all voicemails, and keep copies of your detailed phone records showing the date and
    time of calls
  • Take a picture of your caller ID when you receive a call to prove date and time, also if it says
    "blocked" or "unknown" (as debt collectors often do this to "trick" you into answering) this too
    violates FDCPA.
  • If the  calls are abusive or touch on any of the points above,or if additional contact is made after you
    advised in writing that you only want to be contacted in writing, contact an attorney.
Consumer Protection
A Law Firm
Connaghan|Newberry
Call (702) 608-4232

You May Be Entitled To Money Damages!
Call  (702) 608-4232  Today