The office is the last place you expected a debt collection agency to contact you. After all, you submitted just your personal contact information on the credit card application.
Well, the age of the Internet makes it easy for third party debt collectors to discover where you work.
The question is not whether a bill collector can find out where you work. Instead, the question is does a federal consumer protection law allow companies to contact consumers at work. Under two provisions of a landmark consumer protection law, the answer is clearly no.
Passed by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collection agencies from harassing and intimidating consumers. A company such as Covington Credit is not allowed to threaten you in any way. If you tell a third party debt collector to stop calling you at work, the company must comply with your request.
Instances When a Bill Collector Can Contact a Third Party
It is not just at work where you have to worry about a third party debt collector harassing you into paying off a credit card or a personal loan account. You also have to contend with a bill collector calling you at home and on your cell phone. The same principle applies to third parties, such as friends, family members, and professional colleagues. Although the FDCPA forbids debt collection agencies from discussing debts with third parties, companies are permitted to contact third parties to obtain your contact information. However, the FDCPA states that third party debt collectors can contact the same third party only one time for collecting your contact information.
Contacting You at Work Violates the FDCPA
If a bill collector calls you at work, even after you instructed the company to stop contacting you on the job, you have a possible case for filing a claim in a civil court. Does the third party provision of the FDCPA also give you a legal reason to file a lawsuit? According to numerous court cases that have established a strong precedent, a debt collection agency that contacts you at work either by phone and/or email has violated the third party provision of the FDCPA.
The legal reasoning behind many of the rulings is that by simply speaking with another employee, a debt collection agency has discussed your debt with a third party. All the representative from the bill collector has to do is identify the company, which many courts have rule to be an indirect way of discussing a debt with a third party. Another way for a company to violate the third party provision of the FDCPA is by threatening a third party with legal action if he or she does not cooperate with the debt collection agency.
Get the Legal Help You Deserve
Dealing with a bill collector that discusses your debt with a third party requires the help of a state licensed FDCPA attorney. You attorney will gather the evidence needed to move your case forward in a civil court. Evidence can include tape recorded phone conversations, as well as the letters sent from a debt collection agency to one or more third parties.
*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 Covington Credit, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.