Debt Collector Calls to Payroll Departments and What is Reasonably Necessary to Effectuate a Postjudgment Judicial Remedy

08 Oct Debt Collector Calls to Payroll Departments and What is Reasonably Necessary to Effectuate a Postjudgment Judicial Remedy

As I previously wrote, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. 1692c(b), only allows a debt collector to contact third parties in very limited circumstances.  One of these circumstances is when the contact is reasonably necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy.  A debt collector may erroneously believe that calling someone’s payroll department is permitted under this exception.  Debt collectors sometimes threaten to make calls to payroll departments to scare consumers.  However, this third party contact would not be permitted under the FDCPA because it is not reasonably necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy.  If a debt collector obtains a judgment against a consumer, it may seek garnishment if allowed under the laws of the state.  However, effectuating a garnishment does not require verbal communication with an employer.  So a threat to “call” someone’s payroll department is always a threat to do something that is prohibited by 15 U.S.C. 1692c.  Therefore, such a threat violates another section of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. 1692e.

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