Despite a historically significant federal consumer protection law, many debt collection agencies continue to conduct business as usual. By business as usual, we mean implementing the same overly aggressive tactics that became unlawful on September 20, 1977.
Written into the Law by the United States Congress, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes it illegal for third party debt collectors to harass and intimidate consumers into paying off outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts.
Why do many bill collectors violate the FDCPA? The answer is money, and lots of it. Original creditors have two ways to reclaim at least some of the money lent to consumers.
A credit card company can pay a company for collecting a delinquent debt or sell the debt outright for a fraction of what was originally owed. Sometimes, debt collection agencies can purchase debts for as low as 25 cents on the dollar.
The incredible profit margin is why many third party debt collectors violate FDCPA provisions, such as the provision that makes it illegal for a bill collector to contact a third party regarding your debt.
The Third Party Provision of the FDCPA
Under the FDCPA, debt collection agencies are barred from contacting third parties concerning consumer debts. The provision covers every type of discussion about a delinquent consumer debt, from asking a third party to pay the debt to threatening a third party with legal action.
Proving the violation of the third party provision typically involves tape recording one of more phone conversations. Most bill collectors do not leave a paper trail by sending letters to third parties.The third party provision of the FDCPA includes a few exceptions to the no contact rule.
First, a debt collection agency like Commonwealth Financial system can contact a third party of you grant the company permission in writing to call a friend or a family member.
If you have a co-signee on a credit card or a personal loan application, a third party debt collector can contact the person whose name appears on the application. Finally a bill collector is allowed to call a third party to obtain your address, phone number, and email contact information.
Seeking Justice for Violations of the FDCPA
If a debt collection agency has contacted someone you know regarding your debt, the company has violated a provision of the FDCPA. This means that by hiring a licensed consume protection attorney, you can prevent the third party debt collector from committing future violations of the federal consumer protection law.
Your FDCPA lawyer can send Commonwealth Financial System a formal cease and desist notice to end the illegal practice of contacting a third party regarding your debt. Writing the cease and desist letter yourself can diminish the impact of the formal notice, especially if you use emotionally charge language.
Speak with a Highly Rated FDCPA Lawyer
The odds are stacked against you, if you fight back against a debt collection agency by yourself. Balance the scales of justice by scheduling a free initial consultation with an experienced consumer protection attorney who has successfully litigated several FDCPA cases.
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*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 Commonwealth Financial System or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.