A federal judge in Florida last week certified a class in a suit against a medical debt collection agency. The representative of the class was an individual that was treated at an emergency room and provided a cell phone number as his contact information. He did not, however, give authorization to use the number for collection purposes. As it turned out, the cell phone was registered in his girlfriend’s name, and when the consumer failed to pay the bill, the girlfriend began receiving calls. The major issue in the case was the voicemail left by the agency, which said: “This is HRRG calling. We look forward to helping you. Please return our call at 1-800-984-9115. Thank you.”
Debt collectors must comply with certain requirements set forth by both state and federal law when attempting to collect a debt. Included in these requirements is that the debt collector must clearly identify themselves as a debt collector. When a consumer is being contacted by a debt collector, it is extremely important that they contact an experienced debt settlement attorney to ensure that their rights are not being violated and that the debt collectors are playing by the rules. A debt settlement attorney can validate the debt and help reach the most favorable settlement with the least amount of intrusion on their clients’ rights and privacy.