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If I Owe Money, Who Can A Debt Collector Contact About It?

By Guest

The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act is a federal law full of provisions that are intended to protect consumers from debt collectors who may use illegal strong arm tactics to collect. The FDCPA seems to realize that one way many dishonest debt collectors may try to collect money is through embarrassment, and humiliation and therefore goes out of its way to provide a variety of rules designed to honor your privacy. Debt collectors have the ability to speak freely with credit bureaus and they have the authority to mark up your credit report.

However, if they have a list of creditor subscribers, they are expressly banned from sending out a list of its debtors to these businesses. They are additionally forbidden from advertising a debt for sale. In terms of third parties, debt collectors are not permitted to leave messages with third parties requesting that the consumer call them in regards to a debt. If a collections letter is being mailed out, they cannot indicate that the purpose of the letter is to collect a debt in anyway. Therefore, postcards are not permitted to be used by collection agencies.

A collector can send you mail in care of another person, but only under the circumstances that you reside at a shared address, or if you receive your mail at someone else’s address. If you do share your address with others, the mail should have a “private” or “personal” label on it. It is crucial that collections letters do not give any appearance that allude to the fact that it is a collections bill.

A bill collector that already knows your name, telephone number and address and thus can get in touch with you directly is never allowed to get in touch with your family members or friend. If they can’t locate you and they do call your neighbors or family members, the collections agent has to identify themselves by name, but they cannot mention the fact that they are a debt collector. They can not inform others that you owe a debt or talk to them about account details.

They are not permitted to contact the person more than once, and they cannot leave information about the debt on another person’s voicemail. Also, if they questioned, they have to disclose the name of the collection agency they represent but will not offer this information without first being asked.

If you are being contacted by a collector looking for your former roommate, relative or neighbor, the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act says a debt collector can only contact you to determine the location of the person who owes the money once. Only if the collector believes you have new information can they contact you again. If a collector contacts you repeatedly about a third party that can be considered harassment and you can file a complaint.

Mallory Megan works for Rapid Recovery Solution and writes articles on commercial collection agencies.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "If I Owe Money, Who Can A Debt Collector Contact About It?." If I Owe Money, Who Can A Debt Collector Contact About It?. 25 Jun. 2010. 17 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Guest, G (2010, June 25). If I Owe Money, Who Can A Debt Collector Contact About It?. Retrieved July 17, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "If I Owe Money, Who Can A Debt Collector Contact About It?"

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