I have had a credit card since 1995 and have typically paid balances in full. My credit score is 732. I am employed. No public records of any sort. Today, my credit card co. calls and refuses to identify until I confirm my name. I asked who was calling several times and was refused. Then they begin to speak about a past due $37.00! that was due 8/20 -- 12 days late. I hang up and call the credit card co. back at the main number because I am suspicious of this caller. They confirm that they called and then proceed to tape the conversation. I ask that recording cease and they tell me they cannot. I live in the state of PA. Is it legal for a debt collector to call and not identify and record calls? Is this reasonable collection of a $37.00 payment?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You ask about a debt collector. Debt collectors are bound by different laws than original creditors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies to debt collectors. Debt collectors who call cannot speak to any third parties about your debt so they have to confirm your identity. And they cannot indicate that they are a debt collector or convey any information suggesting that you owe a debt. They don't know who you are. And debt collectors can record calls provided that all parties to the conversation consent. If you do not consent to being recorded, hang up and do not continue the conversation.
PA has a law which basically applies the fair debt collection practice act to original creditors. It has many similar provisions - its called the PA Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act. Its in 73 P.S. § 2270.4(b). The act spells out what creditors can or cannot do.
Do you owe the money? It does not matter if this is reasonable to me. Its their business and they can conduct it as they see fit in accordance with the law. If the $37 is indeed owed, I would pay it and pay it soon before it becomes a $75 problem. Credit card companies are notorious for adding $35 late fees and other junk fees.
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