Are Debt Collectors Contacting Your Friends and Family?
The only third parties that a debt collector may contact when trying to collect a consumer debt are as follows:
- You, the consumer
- Your attorney
- A consumer reporting agency
- The original creditor
- The original creditor’s attorney
- The debt collector’s counsel
The consumer may, however, give a debt collector specific permission to contact other third parties. Moreover, a debt collector who is unable to locate you may ask a third party for your phone number, address and the identity of your employer and its location. The debt collector must, however, both identify himself by name and state that he or she is confirming or correcting information about your location. Unless actually requested, the debt collector may not name the company that he works for or reveal that the consumer owes any debt.
A collector may not contact a third party more than once unless the collector believes that the information from the first contact was in error or incomplete and that the third party has since received better information, or unless the third party specifically requests additional contact.
Contact with any third party in writing is permitted only if the envelope or content of the communication does not in any way identify the nature of the collector’s business.