I recently received this question from a consumer who was concerned about how a debt collector was treating her in calling family members:
I had a credit collector (United Recovery) call my home and a family members home today. (5/29/10) I am making payments as agreed to them, there is was no reason for them to call my home or family member. What can I do about this legally?
This is known as a “third party contact” and is a favorite illegal dirty trick of abusive debt collectors.
Debt collectors can only contact “third parties” – that is someone other than the debtor or the debtor’s spouse – to obtain location information.
Location information is only the following:
1. Your home address;
2. Your home phone number; and 3. Your place of employment.
If the collector already has this information on you, then there is no reason to contact any third party. Well . . . no reason other than to harass, embarrass, and intimidate you into paying or paying even more than you agreed to pay.
What confused the consumer who asked this question is “Why would the collector call others when I’m paying as we agreed?”
For that, remind yourself of the old story of the scorpion and the frog.
Some debt collectors are just abusive – it is their nature even when it makes no sense (to us) to act in an abusive way . . . .
Usually the only way to make them stop abusing you . . . is to sue them.
If you have further questions or concerns or would like our free book on stopping abusive debt collectors, feel free to contact us through our website or by calling 205-879-2447.
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John Watts Birmingham, Alabama