When a Collection Agency Contacts Someone Other Than You About Your Debts in St. Louis
There are very specific rules that a collection agency or debt collector must follow when they attempt to collect on a debt. This especially applies to situations in which the collector contacts someone other than you as part of their collection activities. The law is very clear on who a collection agency may contact, when they may contact them, and how often they may make such contact. But this does not necessarily mean that the debt collector will follow the law. In fact, it is not unusual to see collectors violate federal law quite frequently.No Upfront Fees Required. The Collector Must Pay For Your Attorney Fees
For example, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes the following provisions about contacting someone other than you about your debts:
- If you are represented by an attorney, the collector is prohibited from contacting anyone other than your attorney about your debts.
- If you are not represented by an attorney, the collector may contact someone other than you (like a friend, family member, or employer) to ascertain your whereabouts or contact information. But the collector may only make such call if they truly do not have current, up-to-date contact info about you. And this type of contact to a friend, family member, or employer may only be made once (and therefore not multiple times).
- If the collector makes contact with someone other than you, it may not disclose to that person any information about your debts, who you owe money to, or even the fact that they are a debt collector. The only permissible question that the collector may ask is in regards to your whereabouts or contact info.
As you can see, the provisions of the FDCPA are very clear and unambiguous. But unfortunately, collection agencies have a problem following the law properly. If a violation can be shown to have occurred, the collector must pay you up to $1,000 in damages. In addition, the act states that the collector has to pay your attorney fees. This means that there is no upfront cost to you when you retain an attorney to defend your consumer rights.
Depending on how many other debts you have (like credit cards, medical bills, and payday loans), you may also want to consider whether or not a St. Louis bankruptcy makes sense for you. If your stress levels are rising as a result of all the mounting debt, a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the key to allowing you to move forward with life. This fresh start / clean slate is right at your fingertips. The initial consultation is free of charge. Contact us today to learn more!