If you have fallen behind on bills, you understand the considerable pressure that you feel when you try to climb out of a financial hole. It is not just the principal amount of money you have to pay, but also the mounting charges for fees and interest that set you back financially. To make matters worse, a debt collection agency has started to hound you by calling you at home repeatedly and at odd hours of the day. With the harassment from the third party debt collector picking up, you do not how you will extricate yourself from the financial mess.
Until September 20, 1977, consumers did not have any tools to fight back against overly aggressive bill collectors. In response to strong consumer anger, the United States Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The highly influential federal consumer protection law prohibits debt collection agencies from implementing harassing and intimidating debt collection tactics. It also forbids a company such as Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP from discussing your debt with a third party.
When Can a Bill Collector Contact a Third Party?
The primary purpose of the third party provision of the FDCPA is to prevent bill collectors from discussing consumer debts with third parties. However, a company can contact a third party regarding your debt to obtain personal contact information. The amount of time that passes between when you took out a loan and when a third party debt collector took over debt collection efforts can leave some of your personal contact information incorrect or incomplete. A company responsible for collecting outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts has the right to contact a friend, neighbor, family member, or personal colleague to find out your address and phone number. However, a bill collector can call a third party only one time to seek your personal contact information.
Clear Violations of the Third Party Provision
Under the FDCPA, debt collection agencies are not allowed to contact a third party for discussing any element of your delinquent credit card or personal loan balance. This means a company like Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson cannot call your next door neighbor and ask the neighbor about your financial status. The FDCPA clearly bans the debt collection practice of a third party debt collector sending a letter to your parents or one of your siblings seeking payment on a debt that is solely your financial responsibility. If a professional peer hears from a bill collector regarding your debt, you might have a strong enough case to file a claim against the firm that placed the call.
Why Hiring an Attorney is a Good Idea
Many debt collection agencies bank on the ignorance of consumers when it comes to the rights granted by the FDCPA. If a third party debt collector contacted someone you know, the best strategy for fighting back against the overly aggressive debt collection tactic is to reach out to a state licensed consumer protection lawyer who specializes in litigating FDCPA cases. Most FDCPA lawyers offer a free initial consultation 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 Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.