|Received:||9/12/2007 12:05:24 PM|
|Organization:||Account Recovery Specialists, Inc.|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Debt Collection Workshop|
Comments:I am the CEO and owner of a collection agency and recently was encouraged to settle an FDCPA lawsuit brought against us for a possible violation of Section 807 (11) for failure to give the Mini-Miranda to a debtor calling our agency as a result of receiving our letter. The debtor also worked for a collection agency and stated "you violated the FDCPA for not giving me the mini-miranda". The reason our collector did not give the official mini was that we believed that when a debtor called us, reading from our letter, that it has been conveyed, to the least sophisticated consumer, that the communication is an attempt to collect a debt. The statute itself, below, even states "disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is FROM a debt collector". It does not make sense that the collector should be required to give the mini on incoming calls as described in this situation. There are so many lawsuits such as this that cost small business owners about $10,000 per event, even if there has been no violation, but attorneys and insurance companies almost force them to settle, as fighting and winning would cost them $30,000 to $50,000. I wish this set of laws would be spelled out more clearly, so that these potential technical violations could be eliminated. I realize I have missed the deadline for sending comments, but the ACA just sent me this link and thought there may still be a chance to submit something. We try to operate under the highest ethical standards and this was our first FDCPA lawsuit in the 15 years I have been running our company. I feel we may have won this suit if the issue had been litigated, however, it is so cost prohibitive for small businesses, they often settle even on suits that were brought in bad faith. Thank you for your consideration. Section 807 (11) states ‘ The failure to disclose in the initial written communication with the consumer and in addition, if the initial communication with the consumer is oral, in the initial oral communication, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector except that this paragraph shall not apply to formal pleading made in connection with a legal action’.