Marriage transcends the day when we take a vow of “I do.” It is a legally binding contract that carries with it a significant amount of financial responsibility. Marriage is more of a partnership than anything else, and the partnership often involves entering financial contractual relationships that include both spouses. Did Convergent contact your spouse regarding a consumer debt? If the answer is yes, has the debt collection agency violated a consumer protection law?
Enacted by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlaws dozens of previously acceptable debt collection tactics. A third party debt collector is not allowed to use deception to trick you into paying off a consumer debt you might not owe. Convergent cannot threaten to seize private property or threaten to file a lawsuit in civil court. How the FDCPA addresses a phone call made to your spouse by a debt collection agency is covered by the third party provision of the monumental federal consumer protection law.
The Third Party Provision of the FDCPA
The third party provision does not emphasize the impact of the federal consumer protection law on spouses. In clear legal language, the FDCPA prohibits a debt collection agency such as Convergent from discussing your consumer debt with anyone else. This means Convergent cannot ask a friend why you have not made arrangements to take care of the debt, and the landmark consumer protection law certainly makes it illegal for a third party debt collector to demand a family member take care of an outstanding credit card or personal loan account for you.
However, the FDCPA does give bill collectors a legal out when it comes to contacting third parties. This is especially true for contacting spouses. Under the FDCPA, Convergent can discuss a consumer debt you owe, if your spouse co-signed a credit card or a personal loan application. By co-signing for a loan or a credit card, your spouse is legally on the financial hook for paying off a delinquent debt. Convergent is permitted to speak with your spouse to discuss an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance.
If Convergent Violates the FDCPA
Let us assume Convergent contacted a third party and the debt collection agency violated one or more provisions of the FDCPA. Do you have a legal recourse to recover monetary damages for the pain and suffering caused by overly aggressive debt collection tactics? Under the FDCPA, you have the right to seek monetary damages for suffering from physical and emotional distress. Your FDCPA attorney will present documentation that proves the existence of physical and/or emotional duress symptoms, as well as call to the stand several healthcare professionals that can link your health issues with the illegal actions conducted by a third party debt collector.
Speak with an FDCPA Lawyer
You cannot expect to fight the good legal fight on your own. Convergent has a powerful team of litigators on its team, which means working with an experienced consumer protection attorney is your most effective option. Schedule a free initial consultation today with an FDCPA lawyer to determine the best course of legal action.
*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 Convergent or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.