(Submitted article from Attorney Michael (Moshe) Fine)
A number of Local Jewish News readers have complained recently about receiving annoying telephone calls. This article will help you understand your rights and how to get the calls to stop.
In addition, illegal phone calls may give you a valuable cause of action against the callers (in some instances, valued at up to $1,500 per illegal call). This article will help you stand up for your rights.
To begin, calls fall into two categories: Those to your cell phone, and those to your home phone. (Calls to a business line are not discussed here.)
Generally speaking, unless you have given your consent, calls to your cell phone are illegal when they are initiated by an automatic telephone dialing system, and almost all telemarketing and similar calls are made from such systems.
Regarding calls to a residence:
Beyond these limitations, callers attempting to collect debts must comply with additional rules. A collector must treat you with dignity, honesty, and respect. Some rules regularly violated by debt collectors include:
Although engaging in the conduct on this list does not mean for certain that a collector has violated the law, if, when you hang up the phone, you feel scared or somewhat degraded, most likely the collector has violated your rights and acted unlawfully.
In order to deal with annoying phone calls, one reader wrote, “I just ignore them.” However, this approach is not likely to get the calls to stop. And, if there is a reason you are receiving the calls (e.g. someone thinks you owe them money), it won’t help you resolve the issues behind the phone calls (in fact, in most cases, the underlying problems will only get worse).
To get the phone calls to stop, you need to:
This strategy may not get the calls to stop the first time, but if you follow through, you can get most callers to stop. Some calls, however, are from true scammers, who are not interested in following the law, leaving you with limited options. Still, following this strategy will help you protect yourself.
For more information, please check out my website: www.OhioConsumerLawyer.com.
For a free consultation about how to best deal with your situation, please call me at 216.292.8884 or send me an email to MFine@OhioConsumerLawyer.com.
Michael (Moshe) Fine