Can debt collectors call your family? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that they shouldn’t, and you don’t need to be afraid of them.
When it comes to a debt collector calling your family members or friends, some rules and regulations protect you as a consumer.
When a debt collector calls someone other than you, it’s called “third-party communication.” This procedure can happen if the original debtor has been deceased for more than 30 days or if the creditor has given up on trying to collect from you and wants another approach.
How does third-party communication work?
Third-party communication works like this: If a debt collector calls someone other than the debtor (the person who owes money), they must identify themselves as an agent for the creditor or creditor’s attorney.
They must state that they are attempting to collect a debt on behalf of a specific creditor or creditors and give their name.
They must also give their contact information and tell the third party they’re calling about what type of debt it is (credit card debt, medical bill, etc.). If they don’t do this correctly, they’ve breached federal law and could face severe legal penalties.
Legal penalties affecting creditors
The legal penalties for creditors who bully debtors can be severe. If a creditor is harassing you, you need to know your rights and how to protect yourself from the abuse.
In the United States, creditors who engage in abusive or unfair practices can be fined up to $1,000 per violation. They may also have to pay punitive damages intended to punish the creditor and deter others from engaging in the same behavior.
In addition, if a lender’s illegal conduct causes significant harm to a debtor or results in substantial financial loss, it may be subject to criminal prosecution.
Some facts about debt collection
-Creditors are not allowed to threaten you with violence or arrest. They also cannot threaten you with harm to any family member or friend.
-They may not call you repeatedly or at unreasonable times of the day, such as early in the morning or late at night.
-They may not say that they’re going to take legal action if they haven’t yet filed any papers against you.
-They may not tell anyone else about your debt except your attorney, who represents you in this matter (if applicable).
Inappropriate creditor actions
When creditors use abusive or illegal tactics to collect a debt from consumers, they may be subject to civil and criminal penalties under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA prohibits collectors from using unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices to collect consumer debts.
If a debt collector has bullied you, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against that creditor. If you win your case, you could recover actual damages (money), statutory damages up to $1,000 per violation, court costs, and attorneys’ fees.
The creditor may also be required to pay punitive damages if it engaged in “willful or wanton disregard” of your rights under the FDCPA.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in 1977 to protect debtors from creditors who use harassment, deception, or intimidation to collect debts. The FDCPA gives debtors the right to sue creditors who violate its provisions.
There are five types of violations that can result in legal sanctions against a creditor:
1. Misrepresentation of the amount owed (for example, telling a debtor that he owes $5,000 when he owes $4,000)
2. False threats that they will take legal action against the debtor (for example, telling a debtor that they will garnish his wages if he does not pay his debt)
3. Harassment through repeated phone calls or sending letters at inconvenient times (for example, calling a debtor at work after having been told not to do so)
4. Contacting third parties without the debtor’s consent (for example, calling someone who knows the debtor and asking them to contact him regarding the debt)
5. Using any scheme or device intended to cause harm or injury.
Can debt collectors take from your family?
Yes, debt collectors can take money from your family. While it is illegal for a debt collector to take money from your family, they can deduct money you owe from any assets they have.
These assets could be anything from bank accounts and retirement funds to cars, homes, and even life insurance policies.
If a debt collector threatens you, you must talk with an attorney about your options before deciding to pay them back.
Ways to deal with debt collection hassling
Debt collection hassling is a serious issue. If you’re being hassled by debt collectors and not sure what to do, here are some steps you can take:
1. Know your rights. Debt collectors cannot call you at work unless they have your permission and must tell you the name of their company and their location before contacting you.
They may not call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.; if they do, they must leave a message with their phone number so that you can call them back immediately.
2. Keep good records. When a debt collector contacts you, always ask for their name, company name, where they’re calling from, and which account is in question.
Also, inquire when you made the last payment on that account, who made it, what amount was paid off, and how much remains today.
Please write this information immediately so there’s no chance it’ll get lost or forgotten later on down the line!
3. Inform them of your situation before making payments or entering into any agreements with them directly—they need to know
The bottom line is that debt collectors can call your family, but they should not call them without your permission. If the collector has contacted you and you have provided the necessary information for the collector to contact your family, then it is legal for them to do so.
If the collector has not spoken to you or if you did not authorize them to contact your family, then it is against the law for them to do so.
The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by FinanceOpinion.net and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the post for any purpose.