Can a Creditor Call My Spouse (Parents/Neighbors/Employer) If I Don't Pay?

15 Dec Can a Creditor Call My Spouse (Parents/Neighbors/Employer) If I Don't Pay?

Many folks come into my law office to file for bankruptcy relief and tell me that the debt collectors have called and spoken with their spouse, or called their parents, neighbors, relatives, or have even called or threatened to call their employer. Debt collectors rely on shame and embarrassment to get folks to pay debts. And calling those kinds of people in a debtor’s life will certainly result in shame and embarrassment.

Well guess what? It is illegal when the debt collector talks to anyone else about your debt. And illegal behavior should cost that debt collector consequences in the form of money damages. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides for that kind of consequences for debt collectors who break the law by talking to third parties.

And most states have a version of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that also applies to original creditors. Yep, original creditors! That means if you owe the local hardware store on a bad check, the owner of the store can try to collect from you, but he can’t post that check in the window, call his best buddy and complain about you, or stop your mother on the street to ask her when you are going to pay.

If a debt collector has violated your rights under the FDCPA, contact an attorney who is experienced in this area of law immediately. Fight Back!! You have rights!

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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