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When Can A Debt Collector Contact You?

Making repeated phone calls or sending letters through the mail are common tactics that debt collectors use to contact you about a debt. But in the event a debt collector is unable to locate you, they may contact people that you know. Still, the law limits who a debt collector can contact concerning your location. The law also describes the types of communication and the information that they can share with others about your debt. Here’s more on who a debt collector can communicate with concerning your location, and what information they can share with third parties about your debt.

What Is A Debt Collector?

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collector is anyone who is attempting to collect a debt on behalf of a third party. What this means is that a credit card company contacting you about an unpaid balance is not a debt collector for purposes of the FDCPA. However, a collection agency attempting to collect a debt for a credit card company is. Additionally, companies or individuals that purchase debt from another person or entity are also considered debt collectors under the FDCPA. Only those considered debt collectors under the FDCPA must abide by the law.

Can A Debt Collector Contact My Friends And Family?

The FDCPA says that a debt collector can contact any person, but only in the event that they are unable to locate you. What this means is that a debt collector cannot contact your friends or family if they have a good location for you or if they have already contacted you about your debt. Any contact with third parties must be limited to instances where they have been unsuccessful in locating you. Harassing your friends or family in an effort to get you to pay your debt is strictly prohibited by the law.

What Can A Debt Collector Tell A Third Party About My Debt?

The law limits what a collector can disclose to a third party about your debt. In fact, the law prohibits a debt collector from even telling a third party that you owe any debt. While the collector must identify themselves, they cannot tell a third party anything about your debt. Additionally, they can only communicate with a third party for the purpose of getting a location on you. What this means is that they cannot tell your friends, family, or neighbors that they are pursuing the collection of a debt or how much money you owe, but they can ask them how to reach you. If a collector is attempting to make contact with a third party through a letter, nothing in the envelope or letter itself can mention that it is from a debt collector or that it is about collecting a debt.

Can A Debt Collector Contact A Third Party More Than Once?

Under the FDCPA, a debt collector may only contact a third party about your location once, unless the third party requests a follow up call or letter. The only other exception to this rule is if the collector reasonably believes that the first contact was incomplete or an error.

If I Have An Attorney, Can A Debt Collector Continue To Contact Me?

If you have decided to retain a lawyer to represent you concerning your debt, then the law prohibits the debt collector from further contacting you about your debt. Still, the law says that the collector must know or have reason to know that you are now represented by a lawyer. This can be done by simply telling the collector by phone or through a letter. The only exception to this restriction is if your lawyer fails to respond to the communication of the debt collector. In that case, they may be allowed to reach back out to you about your debt.

New York Consumer Rights Lawyers Are Here To Help You

Debt collectors can’t just do whatever they want to collect a debt from you. If you have fallen victim to bad debt collection practices, then there is something you can do about it to obtain relief. It often starts with you getting in touch with an experienced consumer rights lawyer. The Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, who has years of experience fighting for consumers’ rights, is here for you. To consult with The Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, call (888) 301-0584 or contact us online today.