Debt collection agencies have plenty of financial incentive for going hard after consumers. An original creditor can pay a third party debt collector a lucrative fee for collecting an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance. The same creditor can decide instead to sell a delinquent consumer debt to a bill collector for a fraction of the total amount of the debt. Either way, successfully collecting a consumer debt is a profitable venture that motivates some companies to cross the legal line.
After years of consumer anger, the United States Congress enacted the monumental Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Often referred to as the ultimate consumer Bill of Rights, the FDCPA makes it unlawful for any company operating in the debt collection industry to harass consumers by calling them at odd hours of the day. The FDCPA also bans the long standing practice of third party debt collectors contacting third parties regarding consumer debts.
Does the FDCPA Allow for any Contact?
The primary reason why some bill collectors contact third parties is to shame consumers into taking care of their personal financial obligations. By letting a friend or a family member know about your financial predicament, the debt collection agency is counting on peer pressure to get you to take care of a delinquent credit card or personal loan balance. However, some debt collection cases allow for the contacting of a third party by a bill collector.
The most common example of an exception to the third party provision of the FDCPA involves a credit card or a personal loan application that is signed by two people. This typically happens when one consumer needs a friend or a family member to co-sigh a loan to ensure the loan receives approval by a financial institution. In cases when a second person signs a credit card or a personal loan application, the debt collection agency responsible for collecting the debt has the right to contact the so-signee of the application. Under the FDCPA, debt collection agencies can contact a third party about a debt only one time, and that is for collecting contact information.
What Does the FDCPA Outlaw?
According to the FDCPA, a third party debt collector cannot discuss your debt with anyone that has not co-signed a credit card or a personal loan application. This means a company such as Global Credit & Collection cannot not even indirectly refer to your debt by contacting a friend, neighbor, family member, or professional peer. The company cannot state how much you owe on the debt in question, as well as tell anyone how long the debt has remained outstanding. If a bill collector violates the third party provision of the FDCPA, you should speak with a state licensed FDCPA lawyer.
The Importance of Hiring an FDCPA Attorney
If you fight back against a company such as Global Credit & collection, you can expect to go up against a team of high-powered company lawyers. When you team up with an experienced FDCPA attorney, you will level the legal playing field by giving you the opportunity to file a claim in a civil court.
Schedule a free initial consultation with an accomplished FDCPA lawyer to get the legal ball rolling on 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 Global Credit & Collection, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.