|You can record collection calls|
Laws Regarding Recording Phone Conversations
Each state has laws in place concerning recording telephone conversations. States are either "one-party" or "two-party" states. In a one-party state, only one person has to agree to the conversation being recorded for it to legally take place. In a two-party state, both parties must aware of, and consent to, the conversation being recorded.
Recording Debt Collectors
Once upon a time individuals living in one-party states could record telephone calls as they wished without disclosing the fact that they were doing so. With a rise in consumers secretly recording bill collectors in the hopes of gaining ammunition to use against the collection agency in court, collection agencies started fighting back with lawsuits of their own.
If the collection agency is located in two-party state, debt collectors enjoy the protection of their own state's laws. Thus, you could record a collection call without notifying the debt collector you were doing so and file a lawsuit against the collection agency for harassment only to have the company respond with a lawsuit of its own for recording a bill collector on the telephone without his or her knowledge.
|Recording without permission could land you in court.|
Notify Bill Collectors That You Are Recording the Call
In order to avoid the potential legal ramifications of recording a collection call without the debt collector's permission, inform the debt collector as soon as you answer the phone that the call is being recorded and that if the debt collector does not consent to being recorded, he or she is free to end the call.
Notifying the collector that you are recording and giving him or her the option to hang up the phone forces the collector to either terminate the call or consent to the recording.
Expect the debt collector to become irritated, refuse to end the call and demand that you immediately stop recording the conversation. Do not turn off the tape. Simply repeat to the collector that the call is being recorded and he is free to hang up if he doesn't consent.
At this point, the collector will probably threaten to sue you for recording the call and try to steer the conversation toward you unpaid debt. Don't allow this to happen. Make it very clear to the debt collector that you need him to either verbally consent to being recorded or end the call. Be civil yet firm. A debt collector has no incentive to outright reject being recorded unless he plans to use abusive collection tactics prohibited by the FDCPA. Do not allow yourself to become a victim.
Recording Phone Conversations Forces Collectors to Follow the Law
Few debt collectors would knowingly violate the FDCPA if they knew that debtors' were recording their conversations. Thus, by notifying a bill collector that you are recording you force him to treat you civilly and with respect over the telephone lest he risk losing his job when you file a lawsuit against the company for FDCPA violations he committed during your conversation.
Because recording calls forces collectors to treat debtors with respect, claiming you're recording a call when you aren't can be beneficial. Especially if you do not intend to go through the trouble of suing a collection agency.