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Is Citibank violating your FDCPA rights?
Have you been receiving countless harassing calls from Citibank? Are these calls abusive or excessive? Do they keep bothering you despite you telling them to stop calling you? Did they mention that the bill you owe gives them a right to contact you any time? Do they feed you with false, misleading information in bid to get you to pay the debt you owe? Are you wondering how many phone calls constitute phone harassment or what the phone harassment laws are?
Debt collectors must act in accordance with the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), which protects the rights of consumers in the context of debt collection. Consumers may not be aware that they can be awarded up to $1000 per FDCPA violation claim, and at times have their debt waved.
Telephone Consumer Protection Laws under the TCPA
If you are plagued by frequent unwanted calls, it may seem like too much to handle. The good news is that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was primarily established to protect the rights of consumers like you. The TCPA bill was first passed in 1991 due to consumer complains about the increasing amount of unwanted telephone marketing calls made to them, and the frequent use of automated and prerecorded messages.
In response to the complains of consumers, the FCC established laws which stipulate that telephone solicitation representatives must:
- Provide his or her name
- The name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made
- A telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be reached
The law also bans telephone representatives from making solicitation calls to your home before 8 am or after 9 pm. It also requires telemarketers to comply with your request to not be contacted again.
The TCPA does not permit the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. The act also bans auto dialers and artificial or prerecorded voice messages programmed to contact your pagers or cellular phones. Calls for which a charge is made to the receiving entity are also not permitted. Anyone using an auto dialer or an artificial or prerecorded voice message to call you must also state their identity at the beginning of the message and give their address and phone number during the call.
Finally, the act restricts sending unsolicited advertisements by fax to anyone without their prior consent. If the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is violated then you may be entitled to $500 in damages for each violation.
You may have a case against Citibank if they have acted in any of the following ways.
FDCPA violations from debt collectors that qualify as a harassment charge
- If debt collectors call you repeatedly or ceaselessly, they are not acting in accordance with phone harassment laws. The FDCPA considers repeat calls from debt collectors, amounting to the excess of 7 times a day as a case of harassment.
- If debt collectors call you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm, it may also be considered as a case of telephone harassment.
- If debt collectors are rude or hurl offensive, obscene, profane, or abusive words at you. the use of such words in customer relations is considered harassment. You are allowed to report such abusive phone calls to the police.
- If debt collectors demand that you pay interest, fees, or any other expenses that are not stipulated by law. The collector is not permitted to include any extra fees that your original credit or loan agreement does not allow.
- if the collector asks you to pay an amount in excess of what you owe. Misinterpretation of the loan amount is a mistake not permitted on the part of the collector.
- Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten to sue you, harm you, or destroy your credit. Making such threats is considered an act of harassment.
- Collectors are not permitted to threaten you with action they can not or will not take; thus, they can’t threaten to sue or file charges against you, garnish wages, take property, cause job loss, or ruin your credit, as this goes against phone harassment laws.
- If debt collectors keep calling the wrong person repeatedly, they are not acting in accordance with phone harassment laws.
- If the collector fails to notify you of your right to dispute the debt, they have erred on the side of phone harassment laws.
- Information about your debt is to be kept within relevant authorities. If debt collectors illegally inform a third party about your alleged debt, they have violated the FDCPA. They are only permitted to reveal such information to a third party if you have expressly given them permission. The only people authorized to receive information about your debt are your attorney, the creditor, the creditor’s attorney, a credit reporting agency, and your spouse or parent(s) (in cases of minors).
What to do if you keep getting unwanted calls from Citibank
- Do not answer calls from strange numbers.
- Don’t engage the caller: many debt collectors make various threats in hope that you will respond emotionally. Do not give them that satisfaction.
- Hang up when necessary: if the collector is being rude or using profane words, does not say anything, or refuse to identify themselves, then hang up.
- Save any harassing messages you have received on your voice mail in case you need to present evidence of it in the future.
- Do not disclose personal information especially to an anonymous caller.
- Seek legal advice.
Citibank provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
399 Park Ave
New York, NY 10022-4614
Phone: (212) 559-1000
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About this site (Telephone Harassment)
Here at Telephone Harassment, we are all about informing consumers about their rights regarding harassment from debt collectors, collection law firms and Original lenders. We also encourage consumers to share their experience dealing with collection harassment, legal threats or excessive phone calls to help prepare others for the kind of treatment they are likely to receive. We alert consumers of scams, and notify them about the harassment and scare tactics that many collection agencies employ, many of which are against phone harassment laws.
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Citibank BBB Information
BBB file opened: 7/20/2006
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