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Negotiating Skills Workshop "Persuasive Communication


National Association of Collection Agents (NACA) (800) 977-1197

FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance
• FDCPA – Fair Debt Collections Practices Act • Enacted by Congress 1966 • Enforced by FTC (Federal Trade Commission) • To protect consumers from abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices • Each state may have their own impeding legislation that may vary the scope of the main stream logistics of the federal format of the FDCPA • In that case, the state statute will take precedence over the federal context

FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance
• Most of the Law in reference to the individual debt collector falls under compliance in regards to communication which includes: • Who you can speak with • Information you can/cannot disclose • Proper representation • Proper/Legal time-zone contact • Parameters of accepted legal representation • Cease & Desist orders and Limitations

[15 USC 1692d] § 806(5) . Ask you to pay more than you owe The collector cannot misrepresent the amount you owe. or expenses that are not allowed by law The collector can't add on any extra fees that your original credit or loan agreement doesn't allow.FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance Most Common FDCPA Violations: 1. [15 USC 1692f] § 808(1) 3. Ask you to pay interest. fees. Call repeatedly or continuously The FDCPA considers repeat calls as harassment. [15 USC 1692e] § 807(2)(a) 2.

Call before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm Calls during these times are considered harassment. [15 USC 1692d] § 806(2) 5. [15 USC 1692c] § 805(a)(1) . or abusive language Using this kind of language is considered harassment.FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance Most Common FDCPA Violations: 4. Call at times the collector knew or should know are inconvenient Calls at these times are considered harassment. [15 USC 1692c] § 805(a)(1) 6. Use obscene. profane.

[15 USC 1692e] § 807(5) . take property.FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance Most Common FDCPA Violations: 7. cause job loss. or ruin your credit when the collector cannot or does not intend to take the action. garnish wages. Use or threaten to use violence if you don't pay the debt Collectors can't threaten violence against you. Threaten action they cannot or will not take Collectors can't threaten to sue or file charges against you. [15 USC 1692d] § 806(1) 8.

your attorney b. collectors are not allowed to inform anyone about your debt except: a.FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance Most Common FDCPA Violations: 9. the creditor's attorney d. Illegally inform a third party about your alleged debt Unless you have expressly given permission. a credit reporting agency e. your spouse f. the creditor c. your parent (if you are a minor)[15 USC 1692c] § 805(b) .

Repeatedly call a third party to get your location information The collector can only contact a third party once unless it has reason to believe the information previously provided is false. [15 USC 1692c] § 805(a)(3) . [15 USC 1692b] § 804(1) 11. Contact you at work knowing your employer doesn't approve A collector is not allowed to contact you at work if you’ve let them know your employer doesn’t approve of these calls.FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance Most Common FDCPA Violations: 10.

Fail to send a written debt validation notice Within five days of the collector's initial communication. it must send you a notice include the amount of the debt. name of the creditor. [15 USC 1692g] § 809(a) 13. and notice of your right to dispute the debt within 30 days. Ignore your written request to verify the debt and continue to collect A collector can't continue to collect on a debt after you've made a written request to verify the debt as long as the request was made within 30 days of the collector's written notice. [15 USC 1692g] § 809(b) .FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance Most Common FDCPA Violations: 12.

the collector must stop collecting on the debt until you have received verification. Continue to collect on the debt before providing verification After receiving your written dispute.FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance Most Common FDCPA Violations: 14. [15 USC 1692g] § 809(b) .

further efforts to collect the debt are terminated b. [15 USC 1692c] § 805(c) . certain actions may be taken by the collector c. Continue collection attempts after receiving a cease communication notice If you make a written request for the collector to cease communication. it can only contact you one more time.FDCPA Rules and Regulation Compliance Most Common FDCPA Violations: 15. the collector is definitely going to take certain actions. via mail to let you know one of the following: a.

if possible and what the debt is for • The balance in full is always due!!! • If there is any settlement parameters and guidelines and what the criteria would be . • Gather all information about the debtor that can be inferred by the face of the account • Proper pronunciation of the debtors name is important • Understanding who the client is. not solely the address field.Pre-Call Planning • Note the state debtor is located in • Notice most importantly in the area code field of the telephone number.

Pre-Call Planning • Know your cut-off line in reference to payment terms being extended • Be prepared with your collection script • Where should be my initial point of contact be in order to be most effective in reaching the debtor for resolution • If not the first time calling. as not to have to revisit the prior call . where was the last point of contact • The last place of contact will most likely be the best place to initiate the next call • Read the notes from the last call to have a clear understanding.

what obtain what is the most beneficial or viable option in that case • Notice the ethnicity of the debtors name.Pre-Call Planning • Does the notes from the history of the account preclude or disallow any communication to the numbers on file • If so. as to ascertain if possibly a translator maybe necessary • Once again the notation on the account will disclose this information if this is not the first attempt .

Third-Party Disclosure • Who is ultimately responsible for the debt • Who can I talk with regarding the debt • You cannot disclose information about the debtor to anyone besides the debtor directly unless given express authorization by the debtor themselves. • Except in the case of: • Existing Power of Attorney • Legal Counsel/ Attorney has been retained • CCCS Agency or other representative agency has been authorized to handle the debtor affairs in reference to their debt .

Non-Spousal states are: a. Connecticut Disclosing any information to a spouse is a direct violation even if the spouse says they are responsible. • • • .Third-Party Disclosure • Once legal representation has been established you cannot contact the debtor directly under any circumstances both verbally or written. Usually contact with the debtors spouse is valid except in non-spousal states. South Carolina c. Iowa b.

Third-Party Disclosure • In a Non-Spousal state you need both verbal and written authorization from the debtor in order to disclose any information to the spouse. .

5. 3. 2. . 4.Leaving a Proper Message • There are five (5) types of messages that can be left Person to Person Voice mail or Answering Machine/Service Facsimile Email Text Message 1.

reference number etc….Leaving a Proper Message Person to Person • • • • • • • • • Clearly identify yourself Be authoritative Stress urgency of call back Always ask for alternate contact numbers/information Verify all information Ask relationship to debtor Always get a read back of the message left Give all pertinent information… Company name. Inquire the best time to reach the debtor . case number.

Spanish speaking etc.Leaving a Proper Message Voice Mail or Answer Machine/Service • • • • • Speak Clearly Watch speed of message Be careful not to disclose it is concerning a debt Stress urgency Always note if voice mail identifies itself with any identifiable markers (i. male voice.) Identifiable markers will let you know or confirm of the message has been received • .e. id’s residence.

Leaving a Proper Message Facsimile • • • Call to verify fax number especially if a business debt Always use the collection letter with a cover sheet Cover sheet should have full disclaimer and disclosure statement to avoid breaking third party disclosure laws Stress urgency and confirmation of its receipt Always make sure it is marked attention to the intended recipient • • .

however. do stress urgency .Leaving a Proper Message (Facsimile Continued) • Helps to get to the debt and avoid stall tactics the debtor may try to impose • Never disclose debt in subject line.

Leaving a Proper Message Email • Modern society and technology with social networks and the world wide web and internet makes email one of the best sources of communication with debtors • Ensure your email has a disclaimer statement in case it goes to the wrong party to avoid third party disclosure laws • Include Mini-Miranda on correspondence • Always request return receipt and read verification .

Leaving a Proper Message Text Messaging • With the increased popularity in cell phone usage and the decline in land line telephones text messaging becomes a viable source of communication where permissible • Get debtors permission to do so • Most state laws prohibit it without proper consent • Check state laws regulated by the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act)… (Ericgoldman. Technology & Marketing Law Blog 2/12/11 .org.

Ways to Effectively Use Your Voice • Be Authoritative • Never ask open ended questions to the debtor • Use professional words and terminologies • Never use slang • Control the conversation by stating the purpose of the call • Use consistent tone of voice with confidence • Never yell or scream. It shows lack of control and discipline • Use a pattern of repeats • Always stress urgency of today .

as to control the debtor’s tone of speech • In cases of dispute or errancy by the debtor against the client.Temperament and Controlling The Conversation • Never take the conversation personal • Convey to the debtor this is business and not personal. but want to bring a resolution to the matter TODAY! • If possible use the date of debt to your advantage • Reserve chain of command for escalation of temperament • Don’t allow debtor to raise disputes that are unfounded as a stall tactic . always stress you are not the client.

Ways to Effectively Use Your Voice • Be consistent with rebuttals • Have confidence in client information to reaffirm the debt as paramount • Don’t allow personal issues to infringe upon the job at hand • Don’t take one call into another • Each call is unique unto itself • Don’t be afraid to have the debtor call you back with a resolution (24 hours) .

Second job . Spouse b. Borrowing or loans d. especially live-ins c. credit cards with balance transfers e. Relatives.Listening Effectively for Redirection to Leverage the Debt • • • • • Never assume the debtors issues as your own Always represent the client Seize the opportunity to support the debt being owed Identify key phrases that admits responsibility Listen for alternate payment options a.

Settlements • Listen to the debtor explain their story. Most want to vent • You are probably the first live voice they have had in reference to the issue in a long time • Afterward.Listening Effectively for Redirection to Leverage the Debt • Listen for inclusionary opportunities for payment terms to implement a. convey the ability for resolution based on information gathered • Use aggressive persuasion tactics . Hardship b.

Home phone number .Asking Questions with Precision • • • • • • Never ask open ended questions Always ask questions that point toward payment and resolution Always have a follow-up question in relation to the outstanding balance Always redirect questions to the debtor You are not the one who owes the bill Ask questions that assist in the verification of information: 1. Home address 2.

Alternate contact numbers (Cell) 8.Asking Questions with Precision 3. Spouse contact information (if applicable) • Ask the pertinent questions that lead to a definitive resolution: 1. When can you pay? 2. Place of employment telephone number with extension 6. How much can you pay? . Valid e-mail address 7. Place of employment 4. Place of employment address 5.

on line. western union etc.) 4. credit card. How do you pay your bills? (check.Asking Questions with Precision 3. When do you get paid? • This will avoid circling between you and the debtor .

Problem Resolution and Effective Alternatives • Listen effectively and affirm debtors concerns • Identify the debtors dispute parameters • When disputes are risen. be creative to execute terms within reason • Establish reasonable parameters in an effort to satisfy debt in accordance with any issues debtor may have risen . resolve undisputed portion immediately and request debtor to provide written documentation • Present alternatives that point to obtaining payment • If BIF is not attainable .

Problem Resolution and Effective Alternatives • Know the parameters within the client will accept terms and have the ability to structure terms within them in an affirmation pattern • Use a “Help Me. Help You” approach .

Structuring A Collection Letter • Know FDCPA Laws in the State the debtor is in concerning contact • If using a letter series make sure there is an escalation in tone and urgency • Validation notice must be sent first. gives the debtor 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt and also advises the debtor of your representation if the client • Make sure all personal contact for the debtor is correct – Name – Address – Zip Code .

Structuring A Collection Letter • Make sure to clearly state your intention in reference to representing the client in the body of the letter • Make sure to demand payment in full in the body of the letter. if you do not represent the original owner of the debt • Be sure to include the Mini-Miranda is on the bottom of the letter “This is an attempt to collect a debt any information obtained will solely used for that purpose” • Make sure the letter includes proper contact information for the debtor to contact you in reference to the debt . within a definitively stated time frame • Be clear to state who the original debt was owed to.

Structuring A Collection Letter • Letters represent proper legal documentation to legitimize any settlement or payment arrangements that are made • The letter must precisely state the arrangement as prescribed .