Who is a third party under the FDCPA?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Acts (FDCPA) has very specific and important guidelines when it comes to debt collectors and third parties.
Like many things in life, the tricks that debt collectors use come in waves or cycles.
Sometimes these debt collectors will be breaking the same laws frequently and then they will slow down for a while.
Years ago, we saw a ton of third party contacts from debt collectors.
We filed a lot of lawsuits as did many other lawyers around the country and then these cases started to go away.
Now we are starting to see these cases again.
What is a third party?
The FDCPA uses a very simple definition for third parties.
If they are talking to your spouse, your spouse is not considered a third party.
If they are speaking to your lawyer, your lawyer is not considered a third party.
That’s it. Those are the only people they can talk to.
Everyone else is a third party.
When we sue for this, the collection lawyers will often say this is unfair.
They will say, “We were talking to the fiancé. That basically the same as talking to the spouse.”
No, it’s not.
You are not legally married, so this is not your spouse.
The debt collector can only speak with the consumer, the consumer’s spouse, or the consumer’s lawyer.
Everyone else is a third party – your fiancé, your adult child, your parent, your sibling.
The FDCPA is very clear on this and lays out special rules about when a debt collector can talk to a third party.
It’s critical to know who qualifies as a third party.
If it is not you, your spouse, or your lawyer, then it is a third party.
Everyone else in the universe is a third party.
We hope this is helpful to you!
If you live in Alabama and you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us.
We would be glad to help you in any way we can.
You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you quickly.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
P.S. If you are interested in learning more about third party cases, check out some of our other posts:
- FDCPA Violations: Illegal Third Party Contacts By Debt Collectors
- Can you sue debt collector under FDCPA for calling third parties?
- FDCPA: Why debt collectors call third parties and why the cases are valuable
- FDCPA: Get a statement when a debt collector calls a third party
- Example of an abusive third party contact (neighbors) by a debt collector