Debt collectors will try to track you down if you owe money. However, they have to stay within the guidelines set forth by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which Congress passed in 1977 to protect the rights of consumers.
Debt collectors are usually working on the behalf of a business that doesn’t have the time or resources to deal with collecting old debts.
In return, the debt collector is paid a portion of each debt that is recovered.
Unscrupulous Collection Tactics
Unfortunately, the thoughts of making that money has made some debt collectors go over the edge. If they don’t adhere to the guidelines set forth by the FDCPA, they are breaking the law and can be penalized for their violations.
Those penalties can be in the form of expensive fines or they can even be shut down by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If a debt collector identifies themselves to a third-party, they are violating the act.
While a debt collector may call relatives, old roommates, and friends in attempts to contact you, they cannot tell those people they are collecting a debt, reveal the amount of the debt, or make repeated calls.
When you have a debt, you are protected by privacy laws. Only you and the company to which you owe the debt know the details.
If you want to tell someone else, you can, but the debt collector cannot make your financial situation known to others.
What to do if a Debt Collector Identifies Himself to a Third-Party
If a debt collector does tell a third-party of your predicament, you should file a complaint with the FTC.
Provide them with the name, call back number, and the information they released to the third party. You also have the right to file a lawsuit of your own against the debt collector.
If your information has been released, you should consult with a credit harassment attorney.
Protect Your Rights
Odds are that this debt collector won’t give up easily. If they have broken the law once, they will most likely break it again.
There are several things they can do to violate the FDCPA, and you need an attorney with experience in dealing with credit harassment to protect your rights.
Creditor harassment can cause undue stress, make you nervous and upset, and keep you on edge at all times because you don’t know when the next call will be made or to whom the collector will speak.
You have rights and owing a past due debt does not make you a bad person. We all face unforeseen circumstances at one time or another.
Debt collectors do not have the right to infringe upon your privacy, make threats, increase the amount of the debt, or pretend to be someone that they are not.
There are ethical standards that must be followed when debts are being collected, and everyone deserves to be treated with fairness and respect.
Call a credit harassment attorney today to discuss your situation.