You arrive to the office one day to find a colleague waiting for you next to your office. The colleague tells you that he received a phone call from a debt collection agency like Hillcrest, Davidson & Associates, LLC. You are stunned to learn a third party debt collector has invaded your professional life, and you wonder if there is anything you can do about it.
Fortunately, a groundbreaking consumer protection law states the bill collector crossed the legal line in two ways. In response to growing consumer discontent, the United States Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA outlaws numerous debt collection tactics that for years were considered legal under both state and federal law.
One of the provisions of the federal consumer protection law addresses the practice of contacting third parties regarding consumer debts. This tactic depends on the element of shame to coerce consumers into taking care of outstanding credit card and personal loan balances.
Contacting a Third Party and Exceptions to the Rule
According to the FDCPA, Hillcrest Davidson & Associates, LLC is forbidden to contact a third party concerning a debt you owe. A third party can be a friend, a neighbor, a family member, or a professional peer. The bill collector cannot discuss anything about the debt in question, from wondering when you plan to take care of the debt to demanding the third party discusses with you the consequences of not paying off the consumer debt.
There are a few exceptions to the third party provision of the FDCPA. A debt collection agency can contact a third party to obtain your contact information. In the workplace example we used, a third party debt collector could have called your colleague to find out your address and your cell phone number. However, the FDCPA bans phone calls made by bill collectors to you or anyone else in the workplace. Another exception to the third party provision is Hillcrest, Davidson & Associates, LLC can contact a third party, if the third party’s name appears on a credit application as a co-signee.
How to Handle a Violation of the Third Party Provision
With the expert help of a licensed FDCPA lawyer, you can fight back against the overly aggressive practices implemented by a third party debt collector. Your attorney will perform a thorough review of your case to determine the most effective course of legal action. If there is not enough evidence to file a claim against Hillcrest, Davidson, & Associates, your FDCPA lawyer can opt to negotiate a settlement of the delinquent credit card or personal loan account.
By negotiating a favorable debt settlement, you pay an amount you can afford each month, as well as have the blemish removed from your credit report. Another way to deal with a bill collector is to invoke the statute of limitations set by your state for debt collection efforts.
Having a debt collection agency contact one of your friends or family members will create a considerable amount of stress. Reduce yours stress level by scheduling a free initial consultation with an accomplished FDCPA attorney.
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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 Hillcrest, Davidson & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.