Can a Collection Agency Call My Neighbors (“block party”)?
Can a Collection Agency Call My Neighbors?
In the bag of cheap tricks, this is one of the worst ones that debt collectors or debt buyers or collection agencies use. It violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In the collection business this is known as a “block party”.
What Is A Block Party?
The expression “block party” normally brings to mind images of friendly neighbors gathered together cooking out and enjoying each other’s company.
Within the debt collection industry, however, a “block party” is a much different thing.
It is an illegal tool often used by debt collectors to harass and embarrass individuals into paying.
The collection agency or debt collector will call three or four or five of your neighbors and tell each of them that an urgent message must be given to you.
“Can you please go over to his house and see if he is home?”.
“Is he OK-he hasn’t called me back.”
“Can you leave a note on her door?”
“When you see him in the yard go over and tell him to call me immediately” or some similar statement.
Usually the debt collector will refuse to tell the neighbor the reason for the call – “Sir, I’m not allowed to say as this involves an urgent private issue.”
This only arouses the suspicion and curiosity of your neighbors.
Sometimes the collector will even say to your neighbors “He is not paying his bills and so I’m trying to help him not be a promise breaker. Can you help me by giving him this message?”
The result is you begin to get calls and visits from your neighbors.
They tell you that you need to call “Mr. Jones” or whoever the collector is and, of course, they want to know what is this about. When this happens, the effect on you is exactly what the debt collector wanted – fear and embarrassment.
The result is you pay the debt — whether you owe it or not — because you want to stop the harassment.
Why This Is So Bad And Violates the FDCPA
None of us want the private details of our personal life to be revealed without our permission. This is why our medical records are kept private.
And our financial information is as well.
The thought that the collector might next time tell our neighbors that we owe money or that we are not paying our bills or that we are worthless is a frightening thought.
So you pay the collector.
So you pay it even if it is not the correct amount.
Or even if you don’t owe it.
You pay it because the pressure and embarrassment of not being able to face your neighbors is too much.
When this happens, the abusive debt collector wins.
Some collection agencies will argue, “So what — if you owe the debt, why does it matter how we collect it from you?”
If that’s true, why not break people’s knee caps to get them to pay?
After all, if all that matters is whether you owe the debt, then who can complain about being hit, or shot, or threatened, etc.
But even the abusive debt collectors admit they cannot cross that line but they think the “line” of calling your neighbors is ok.
It is not — and you have a wonderful solution.
Sue the bad guys in federal court.
You Can Sue For Money Damages under FDCPA!
If you have been a victim of this kind of dirty trick, then you should look into filing a lawsuit to protect yourself against these abusive and illegal practices.
We sue under the FDCPA — Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for money damages and your attorney fees will be paid by the debt collector.
We also normally sue under Alabama law which can give you punitive damages to punish the debt collector.
What To Do Right Now
If you have been a victim of a block party, or the related “office party“, please investigate your rights as no one deserves to be mistreated like this. We can help you – please contact us or call us at 205-879-2447.
Just pick up the phone and call us at 205-879-2447 or contact us through this website. We’ll be happy to help you stop out of control collectors and to get the compensation you deserve.