Communications with Your Friends or Relatives May Be Illegal Under the FDCPA
Another collection agency activity that the FDCPA forbids is attempting to contact your friends and/or relatives to obtain more information about you. Whether or not you owe the collection agency and original creditor the amount they are claiming or not, you are still in debt to that creditor and should try to clear up your obligations if you are financially able to do so. However, this does not entitle that collection agency to illegally harass you into paying the money you owe.
There are two key points to consider where information regarding your circumstances is concerned. First, under [15 USC 1692c] § 805(b), the FDCPA forbids the disclosure of your personal information and your financial circumstances to a third party unless it is one of the following entities or individuals:
- the original creditor
- the original creditor’s attorney
- a credit reporting agency
- your FDCPA attorney
- your parent (should you be a minor)
- your spouse
The second key point regarding the contacting of your friends or relatives for personal information about you and your finances is found under [15 USC 1692b] § 804(1). This section forbids collection agencies from contacting any 3rd party regarding your financial and personal information. There is only one exception to this rule. That agency is allowed to contact a 3rd party should they believe that the information they currently have about you is not valid or is false.
If you find out that any of your friends or relatives have been contacted by a collection agency in order to get information about you, contacting an experienced FDCPA attorney would be a smart move on your behalf. However, you must attempt to make verbal and written contact with that collection agency and tell them to stop this tactic. Be sure to record the phone call if you can and save a copy of the “cease and desist” letter that you mail to that collection agency.
Your FDCPA lawyer will either advise you as to the wording of that letter or, if you have enlisted their services, they may also back your letter up with one of their own written on the attorney’s letterhead. If you feel that you have experienced these issues mentioned above, then you most likely have a valid FDCPA claim. Please feel free to contact us if you need additional help or to any answer any of your questions.
For over 25 years, Jonathan Ginsberg has represented honest, hardworking men and women facing financial troubles.
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