Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a collections company may not leave a message with a third party that will induce you, as a debtor, to call back.
Often times, collection companies intentionally call third parties, employers, parents, spouses and leave messages that identify that you owe a debt, and create a sense of urgency in you resolving the debt. The collection companies hope that the debtor will call back and resolve the alleged debt rather than face the embarrassment of dealing with the third parties.
Collection companies are not allowed to do this. A debt collector may contact third parties only to determine a debtor’s location, i.e. address, telephone number or email. However, it may not leave a message regarding the debt. Once a debt collector leaves a voice mail, it loses control over who may listen to the message, and third parties might listen to the message. This violates the FDCPA.
In fact, the Court recently held that if a third party answers the phone, and the debtor is not available, the only alternative is for the collector to simply say thank you and call back. He may not leave a call back number or say that the call involves a business issue. This message creates a situation where a debtor may call back when if he know it involved a debt, the message would not have been returned.
If a collection company is calling friends, relatives or employers or leaving messages on your mobile or home, you may have a claim for a payment by the company of a statutory fine of $1,000, and payment of the attorneys’ fees and court costs. Please call me at (480) 580-5025 to discuss a claim against the collection companies. As a debtor’s attorney, I will provide services necessary to pursue a company just as vigorously as it pursued you.