Debt Collectors Can Only Call Friends, Neighbors, and Co-workers For “Location Information”
This is probably the most common type of violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – calling third parties for information other than location information.
What is a third party?
A third party is anyone other than you or your spouse.
What is “location information”?
Location information is defined very specifically in the FDCPA. It is the following three items – and only these three items:
- Home address;
- Home phone; and
- Place of employment.
What is not location information?
The following is commonly asked for by collectors when they call third parties. All this means is that collectors commonly violate the law. Here is a short list:
- Cell phone number;
- Email address;
- How long you have worked somewhere;
- How much money you make;
- When you will be back home (or back at the office, etc);
- Where you go to church;
- What is your date of birth;
- What is your work phone number; and
- Asking the third party to give you a message.
Is this really illegal?
Absolutely. Even though collectors routinely do this, it is still illegal.
If this is illegal, then why do almost all collectors do this?
Two words answer this question:
It really is that simple – this is one of the most effective illegal means of collecting debts. It works.
If it works, then how can it be illegal?
Well, kicking down your door and putting a shotgun to your head would work. Still illegal.
Congress said over thirty years ago that one of the effects of abusive debt collectors was to invade your privacy. That’s a perfect description for what happens when these collectors start talking to third parties – they know it will invade your privacy and they know it will get you to call them back.
Can I sue collectors that have illegally called third parties?
Yes! You can recover damages and force the debt collector to pay your attorney fees and expenses.
So what can I do to learn more about my rights?
Call us at 205-879-2447 to talk about your situation. Or you can fill out a contact form on this website and we will email or call you back.
If you live in Alabama let us know and we will be glad to discuss your options with you. Just call us at 205-879-2447 and we’ll walk you through your options.
Thanks for reading this and I look forward to hearing from you.