Debt collectors can't call consumers at inconvenient times (FDCPA § 805(a)(1)). The statute says that calling before 8 AM or after 9 PM is inconvenient. With traditional landline phones, the collector can usually use the area code to figure out the consumer’s time zone. But with mobile phones, consumers often keep their number when they move so the area code may not match where they live.
- Does technology exist to determine whether a phone number is a landline or a mobile phone? If so, should collectors be required to use this technology?
- Should the collector be allowed to rely on information the consumer gave when he/she applied for credit (for example, if a number is identified as "home" vs. "mobile"/"cell"?)
- Should collectors assume that the consumer is in the time zone of his/her mailing address on file?
- If the collector has area code and mailing address information about the consumer that don’t give the same time zone, which should be used? Should the collector not make calls before 8 AM or after 9 PM in either time zone? Should mailing address take priority?
Consumers can tell collectors what times are inconvenient for them. To discuss whether collectors should have to pass this info along to the debt owner or later collector, see Making sure debt collectors & buyers have info about the debt—Info about consumer preferences and status.