If I did not read this opinion I never would have believed it. In one of the greatest examples of baiting a collector into a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a plaintiff in Missouri decided he was not going to wait for a collector to call him and instead called the collector himself to induce a 1692c(a)(2) violation.
According to the opinion in Istre v. Miramed Revenue Group (MRG), filed October 7, “In mid-June 2014 plaintiff retained an attorney to represent him regarding his debts, including those which defendants are attempting to collect from him. Shortly after retaining legal counsel plaintiff phoned defendant MRG to ask about the debt and to inform MRG that he had retained counsel regarding the debts MRG was trying to collect.”
Because the collector did not immediately end the call at this point and continued to attempt to resolve the account, the court found that the complaint stated a claim for a violation of both 1692c(a)(2) 1692d and 1692f of the FDCPA. The fact that the consumer initiated the call did not constitute “prior consent of the consumer” under 1692(c)(a) according to the court.
Worse yet, this same conduct of answering a consumer’s telephone call also stated a claim for harassment and unconscionable means to collect under sections 1692d and 1692f.
The full opinion can be found here.