Despite the passage of a sweeping federal consumer protection law, far too many debt collection agencies violate the groundbreaking law by continuing to implement deceptive and overly aggressive debt collection tactics. If a third party debt collector has deceived and/or intimidated you into paying off an outstanding credit car or personal loan balance, you should know that a state licensed consumer protection lawyer can help you fight back against unlawful debt collection practices.
Enacted by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlaws the use of overly aggressive debt collection tactics. A third party debt collector like Ability Recovery Services cannot threaten to seize your property, nor can the company threaten to contact a third party regarding your debt. In fact, if a bill collector contacts a third party regarding your debt, you might have a strong enough case to file lawsuit in a civil court.
Exceptions to the Third Party Provision of the FDCPA
According to the FDCPA, a debt collection agency is well within its legal right to contact a third party to obtain your contact information. Maybe your credit card or personal loan account is several years old, which means you might have moved to another city or to another neighborhood located in the same city. Whatever the reason for the different contact information, a third party debt collector has the right to contact a friend, a neighbor, or a family member to collect the new contact information.
How does a bill collector discover who lives near you? The answer is by simply inputting your address into a search engine. Yes, your neighbors qualify as a third party in a debt collection case, and a debt collection agency can contact a neighbor to acquire your contact information. However, the FDCPA clearly states a bill collector can contact the same third party just one time.
Clear Violations of the Third Party Provision
Another reason why a debt collection agency can contact a third party regarding your debt is if the third party co-signed a credit card or a personal loan application. However, you can stop the letters and phone calls by crafting a concise formal cease and desist notice explaining that the third party does not want to be contacted anymore. When a third party debt collector violates a formal cease and desist letter, the FDCPA grants you the right to file a claim that seeks monetary damages. In addition, a bill collector is not permitted to contact a third party that does not have a financial connection with a delinquent credit card or personal loan balance.
Working with an Experienced FDCPA Lawyer
If a debt collection agency violated the FDCPA by contacting a third party regarding your debt, you have two legal responsibilities to pursue. First, you have to gather convincing evidence of the FDCPA violation and second, you can turn the evidence into a powerful lawsuit filed in a civil court. A highly rated consumer protection attorney who specializes in handling FDCPA cases can help you take care of both legal responsibilities.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Ability Recovery Services, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.