What to Do When Debt Collectors Contact Others About Your Debt
The rules and regulations contained in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) place strict limits on the individuals that debt collectors are allowed to contact about any debt you owe. In most situations, collectors and collection agencies are only allowed to communicate with you or your attorney. Collectors are even prohibited from leaving messages on answering machines that could be heard by other people. Congress established these rules to safeguard the privacy of debtors and their friends and family.
There are, however, some exceptions. In addition to you and your attorney, collectors are allowed to talk about your debts with credit reporting agencies, the creditor, the creditor’s attorney, your spouse, your parent (if you are a minor) or your guardian.
You are also allowed to give permission to debt collectors to talk to other people about your debts. However, this consent is only valid if you speak with the collector about it directly. Collectors cannot, for example, presume it is allowed to talk to another person even if that person is making some bill payments on your behalf.
Debt collectors are also allowed to contact third parties for the purposes of locating you, but there are certain rules they must follow in these communications. For example, they must not use the name of the collection agency or mention anything about you owing a debt.
If you believe a debt collector is breaking any of the rules outlined in the FDCPA, you may report the violations to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency dedicated to guarding consumers from unfair collection practices.
For assistance in filing a report with the CFPB or to put an end to creditor harassment, work with the experienced Atlanta bankruptcy lawyers at DebtStoppers. Call us today at 404.750.4706 or contact us online.