The job of a debt collector is to make you give them money. Debt collectors understand that if they can make you uncomfortable enough, whether it be through fear, embarrassment, or simply annoy unceasingly, that you will be more likely to cough up the dough.
With that in mind debt collectors will often contact third-parties in connection with your debt because they know that most people would be mortified to have their personal debt problems shared with family, friends and even co-workers. They know that most of us will beg, borrow, or steal to get money to them to avoid the embarrassment of having our personal information shared with others.
The problem is, when debt collectors share your personal financial information with third-parties they are violating federal law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that regulates the way in which a debt collector can try and collect money from you. The FDCPA clearly states that debt collectors are only permitted to speak with third-parties about your debt in very limited circumstances.
Debt Collectors Can Only Speak with Third-Parties to Obtain Contact Information
The one area where the law does allow debt collectors to contact third parties is when they are trying to obtain contact information about you. However, the debt collector is not permitted to tell why they need the information or even who they represent if it would give information on the purpose of the call. For instance, the debt collector can’t call your mother-in-law and say “I am calling from ABC Debt Collection, Inc. and I am looking for the home address of Bobby”.
Further, if the debt collector already has your contact information then they are not permitted to keep calling third-parties under the guise of needing contact information. It is easy to know whether they have your information already because you will likely be receiving collection letters or collection phone calls from the debt collector.
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John Skiba, Esq.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your debt problem and help you put together a game plan to eliminate your debt once and for all. Give us a call at (480) 420-4028