Falling behind on bills is like watching a hamster try to climb up the side of a spinning wheel. The harder you try to climb out of a financial hole, the deeper you fall into the money pit. You feel the world crumbling around you and the stress triggered by your financial woes has adversely impacted your personal and professional relationships. Now, you discover a debt collection agency such as CCS Companies has contacted a third party regarding your debt.
It is not hard for a third party debt collector to track down the people that are closest to you. Google your name and enter any one of the myriad websites dedicated to revealing personal information. One line of a personal profile will reveal a few of your friends, neighbors, and family members. From there, all a bill collector has to do is Google the names of your friends, neighbors, and relatives and then contact one or more of them regarding your debt. Is this practice legal?
According to a landmark consumer protection law, the answer is an emphatic no.
How a Consumer Protection Law Addresses Third Party Contacts
For decades leading up to 1977, debt collection agencies liked to harass and intimidate consumers into paying off outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts. Some of the overly aggressive debt collection tactics uses included using abusive language and issuing threats. Another highly effective, yet more subtle debt collection technique was for bill collectors to reach out to third parties in attempts to shame consumers into taking care of their financial obligations. On September 20, 1977, the United States Congress addressed the concerns relayed to the governing body by passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA contains a provision that prohibits debt collection agencies from discussing consumer debts with third parties that include friends, family members, and professional peers. This means CCS Companies cannot call your next door neighbor and inquire about how you plan to settle the debt obligation. The FDCPA is clear that the third party provision applies to any type of discussion concerning a consumer debt, such as mentioning your debt predicament to another person.
Other FDCPA Third Party Provisions
Although the FDCPA protects consumers against overly aggressive debt collection tactics, do the same legal principles apply to third parties that are contacted by bill collectors? The answer is yes because CCS Companies is not allowed to threaten a third party in any way. In addition, the third party debt collector cannot use deception to trick someone you know into taking care of the debt in question. In essence, every provision outlawing overly aggressive debt collection practices applies to anyone that is under fire from a debt collection agency.
How an FDCPA Attorney Can Help
Dealing with a debt collection agency, without being represented by an FDCPA lawyer, is a sure way to find yourself paying off a debt that you might not have to pay. By hiring a licensed consumer protection attorney who specializes in handling FDCPA cases, you even the legal playing field with CCS companies. Contact an FDCPA lawyer today to determine how to proceed with your case.
*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 CCS Companies or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.