What is “Acquiring Location Information”?
“Acquiring location information” is a phrase or terminology that relates to FDCPA laws regarding a consumer’s place of residence and the telephone numbers tied to that address, as well as those phone numbers associated with their place of employment. Additionally, and according to [15 USC 1692a] Section 803(7) of the FDCPA entitled “Definitions,” this does not apply to or is allowed to include:
- the amount of the person’s salary
- the dates (or days of the week) on which they are paid
- other personal and/or work-related information
Under [15 USC 1692b] Section 804 entitled the “Acquisition of location information” applies to any collection agency representative or debt collector who communicates with a person other than the consumer responsible for the debt in order to acquire location information. If this is the case, that individual is obligated by law to do the following:
- they must identify themselves and state that the purpose of the contact is to confirm and/or correct any location information pursuant to the consumer and identify themselves if they are so requested to do so
- they are forbidden from stating that the consumer in question owes any debt
- they may not attempt to communicate further unless that person requests that they do so or unless the collection agency representative (or debt collector) believes that the responses obtained prior are either erroneous or incomplete and that the current information has been corrected
- they are not allowed to use postcards for the purposes of communicating with the consumer
- they may not use any language as well as any symbols on envelopes or the contents thereof which would indicate that the particular agency or individual is in the business of collecting consumer debts, or that the contents of the communication relates to any debt collecting action or activity
- should the consumer already be represented by an attorney, and inform the collection agency representative or debt collector of this, the agent or 3rd party person may not attempt to communicate further with the consumer (or any another individual for that matter) unless no communication is received from the consumer’s attorney within a period of time that is deemed as being “reasonable”
The bottom line is that collection agency representatives or debt collectors who have not contacted your employer previously are allowed to send a letter asking for employment verification and where the employer is located. They are not allowed to ask for anything else regarding your pay or any other personal information because it is strictly prohibited by federal law.
If a debt collector has overstepped his authority in acquiring your location information and you believe you may have a valid FDCPA claim, we welcome you to fill out the Free Claim Review form on this website.
For over 25 years, Jonathan Ginsberg has represented honest, hardworking men and women facing financial troubles.
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