If you have fallen behind paying the monthly bills or worse, received a stinging letter from a debt collection agency, you understand the stress and anxiety that spills over to affect your personal and professional lives adversely. Unfortunately, most debt collection agencies do not care about the undue duress they cause consumers. In fact, many third party debt collectors resort to underhanded debt collection tactics that are in direct violation of a sweeping federal consumer protection law.
Enacted by the United States Congress in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes it illegal for bill collectors to engage in debt collection techniques that for decades were considered legal. A debt collection agency like Ad Astra Recovery Services, Inc. is not allowed to harass you by issuing threats of any kind.
The company cannot threaten to seize your property or threaten to contact a third party regarding an outstanding credit card or a personal loan account. In fact, the FDCPA prohibits bill collectors from contacting third parties to discuss consumer debts.
Are There Exceptions to the Third Party Provision?
Why do third party debt collectors reach out to friends, family members, and professional peers in regards to consumer debts? The answer is simple: Bill collectors want consumers to feel enough shame to motivate them to pay off delinquent credit card and personal loan balances. However, the FDCPA clearly outlaws the practice of contacting third parties regarding consumer debts.
The landmark federal consumer protection law grants debt collection agencies the right to contact third parties to obtain the contact information of debtors. The contact information must be strictly about getting a consumer’s home address and phone number, not the contact information for the consumer’s workplace. The FDCPA clearly prohibits any contact made by a bill collector to a consumer who is at work.
All the consumer has to do is invoke the “Right to know provision of the FDCPA. Third party debt collectors are also restricted by FDCPA in how many times they can contact a friend, neighbor, or relative of a consumer. According to the FDCPA, Ad Astra Recovery Services, Inc. can contact one third party just one time to acquire contact information.
Other Ways a Third Party Phone Call Violates the FDCPA
It is not just the third party phone call itself that violates the FDCPA. A bill collector like Ad Astra Recovery Services, Inc. can cross the legal line by repeatedly contacting a third party regarding your debt. The FDCPA forbids repeated phone calls, as well as limits bill collector phone calls of any kind to between 8 am and 9 pm.
A debt collection agency is not permitted to use abusive language when asking a third party for your contact information. The most effective way to deter a third party debt collector from violating the FDCPA involves filing a lawsuit in civil court seeking monetary damages.
Take Advantage of the FDCPA
If Ad Astra Recovery Services, Inc. has contacted a third party and the company clearly discusses your debt, the time has come to speak with a licensed consumer protection lawyer. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation above to get in contact with a lawyer who can help.
*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 Ad Astra Recovery Services, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.