A "Silent" Voice-Mail Message from a Debt Collector Is Not Harassment, Judge Rules

Debt collectors will never stop being ingenious when it comes to new ways to be annoying -- it's just part of their DNA, part of what makes a towheaded, strapping young lad say to his proud pop, "Someday I'm going to be a debt collector, Dad!"

Surreptitiously wiping a proud tear as he rubs the boy's head, Dad can only dream that one day his boy will win a court victory that will go down in the debt-collection annals like the one issued August 15, where a judge ruled that leaving a 20-second silent phone message on an answering machine does not constitute harassment. (H/T Courthouse News Service.)

"In short, persuasive case law supports the idea that a voicemail is a communication only when it conveys more information than could be gathered from a missed call," U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ruled. "Silence does not meet this standard."

Miller dismissed a complaint by Brenda Garza against collection agency MRS BPO L.L.C. fka MRS Associates Inc.

The ruling did not provide any details on the debt involved.

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