The backyard party is going well, with most of your neighbors showing up to unwind after a long week at work. Everything seems great, that is, until your next door neighbor asks to speak with you outside of the circle of fun. Your neighbor reveals the startling news that a debt collection agency contacted her regarding your debt.
The festive mood of the party has vanished and in its place, you feel unbridled shame and embarrassment.
Under a sweeping federal consumer protection law, a debt collection agency such as Arnold Scott Harris, P.C. is forbidden from contacting a friend, neighbor, family member, and professional peer regarding your debt. Considered by many legal scholars to represent the consumer Bill of Rights, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) also makes it illegal for a third party debt collector to call you at home between the hours of 9pm and 8am. The FDCPA punishes bill collectors that deceive consumers into paying off delinquent credit card and personal loan accounts.
Little Legal Wriggle Room for Debt Collection Agencies
Although the intent of the United States Congress was to ban all types of third party contacts, several subsequent court rulings have slightly opened the legal door for third party debt collectors. If you give a bill collector permission to contact a third party regarding your debt, then the company is not legally liable for reaching out to a friend, neighbor, family member, or professional peer. Make sure to grant permission in writing to prevent a bill collector from claiming you gave permission through the making of an oral statement. Some debt collection agencies lie about receiving permission to contact third parties regarding consumer debts.
When Discussing Your Debt with a Third Party is Illegal
The conversation with your neighbor revealed several violations of the FDCPA. The debt collection agency asked your neighbor when she expected you to take care of your debt. In addition, your neighbor had to answer “I don’t know” to a question about your other consumer debts. Both queries are direct violations of the third party provision. A third party debt collector cannot even vaguely reference your debt, such as mentioning the name of the original creditor or discussing the legal ramifications of remaining in debt. After hearing what your neighbor had to say, there is only one thing you should consider doing to get the bill collector off our back.
Contact an FDCPA Lawyer
“What you don’t know, cannot hurt you” is an operating principle followed by many debt collection agencies. By getting in touch with a third party, a bill collector like Arnold Scott Harris, P.C. figures you have no idea that the act is a violation of any federal consumer protection law. You never have to put up with a company that reaches out to someone you know regarding your debt. The best course of action involves speaking with a state licensed FDCPA lawyer. Your attorney will conduct a comprehensive investigation into your case to determine whether a third party debt collector crossed the legal line.
Schedule a free initial consultation with an FDCPA lawyer to learn more about the groundbreaking federal consumer protection law.
*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 Arnold Scott Harris, P.C., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.