I am married but don't like the collection agency getting into details of the account, not because there's anything shady on it, but because it just starts arguments. Is that just the way it is? I'm trying to work out a settlement/plan.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
Please see the letters in my sample letters linked below, in particular see sample letter 1.2 to advise them that you will not pay the debt, which under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires them to stop calling. If you don't send the letter, they can continue to call and they can speak with the debtor's spouse, provided that they don't harass or abuse her. You should prepare it and send by US Certified Mail, return receipt requested, keeping a photocopy for your records.
Robert Stempler (please see DISCLAIMER below)
NOTICE: The above statements are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended as legal advice or advice of any sort for a specific case or legal matter. If you do not have a signed attorney-client fee agreement with the Consumer Law Office of Robert Stempler, APC ("the Firm"), then until such written fee agreement is provided and signed by both a prospective client and attorney for a particular case, neither Mr. Stempler nor the Firm will represent you nor will they be your attorney in any matter and you remain responsible for retaining your own attorney and for compliance with any and all deadlines and for any statutes of limitations that may pertain to potential claims. Comments made on a public forum, such as Avvo.com, to not have any confidentiality because others may read them. If you desire a private consultation with Mr. Stempler that is confidential, please go to www.StopCollectionLawsuits.com and submit a free eCase Review. The result portrayed for a client was dependent on the facts of that case. Results will differ if based on different facts. The Firm and Mr. Stempler are a debt relief agency. The Firm and Mr. Stempler help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
Debt Collection Attorney
Under the FDCPA a debt collector can communicate with your spouse if they are allowed to communicate with you. If they contact anyone else, such a communication with a third party may be a violation of the FDCPA.
What you can do is to send them a letter asking that they stop communicating with you. Then, they can send you one last letter telling you that they will not contact you, they can have a lawsuit served, and they can send you periodic (monthly) billing statements if they are the original creditor. Anything else is a violation of the FDCPA. Also, if you consult an attorney, the attorney can request that all communications be directed to the attorney and that they not communicate directly with you or your spouse.
Also, Beware of "debt settlement companies." The ones that advertise as almost always a scam. They take your money, do not pay the creditors and ruin your credit. It would be far better for you to consult an attorney with expertise in consumer law, pay a small fee and have the attorney communicate with all of your creditors. That will give you peace on the home front.
You need to send them a letter to stop contacting you, and under the FDCPA they have to stop. Unless the debt is commercial, in which case they can keep contacting you regardless.
Debt Collection Attorney
As previously mentioned, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a collection company is required to stop all collection activities upon receipt of a letter telling them to cease and desist collection activities. However, please note that a collection company can still file a lawsuit against you to collect the debt (if the debt is enough for it to be worth their while).
An alternative solution to the cease and desist letter might be to give them a different number to call you on.