You should immediately call an experienced consumer rights attorney. I suggest that you look for one at www.naca.net.
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Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, this is not allowed.
Not if the collector knows your name and telephone number and could have contacted you directly. When contacting your family members including minors or neighbors to find out how to locate you, the collector:
Cannot tell others you owe a debt or discuss details of the account.
Must identity himself, (by name, but not as a debt collector).
Must identity the name of the collection agency only if asked.
Can only contact the party once unless the collection agency has reason to believe the person has new information.
Cannot leave information about a debt on a third party's answering machine or voice mail service.
Contacts with a spouse, the parent of a minor, a guardian, co-signer, executor, or administrator are considered the same as contacts with the debtor under the FDCPA.
If the situation results in a court judgment being entered against you, the FDCPA allows a collector to contact third parties "as reasonably necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy." However, according to the FTC , a debt collector may not send a copy of the judgment to your employer, except as part of a formal service of papers to achieve a garnishment or other remedy.
As far as threats, A collection agency can file a lawsuit to collect a debt. However, among the many things a collector is not allowed to do is threaten you with a lawsuit just to get you to pay the debt. Examples of threats and deceptive practices prohibited by the FDCPA are when the collector:
Says it will garnish your wages or sell your property if it is not legal to do that.
Says it will sue you, if the collector doesn't intend to sue.
Is not truthful about the amount of money you owe.
Says you will be arrested if you don't pay the debt.
Threatens you with violence.
I would recommend you contact an attorney in your area that handles collection matters to possibly assist you.
You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-354-5223. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
I agree with my colleagues. You should consult with an attorney who handles FDCPA issues. And keep a detailed log of all the attempts to contact you and your family (name, company, phone number, etc). Go meet with an attorney to discuss your issues. Good Luck!
The asking of and answering general questions does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an actual attorney in your local area before deciding on a course of action.
I agree with the above responses; however, there are increasing numbers of these collections that are absolute scams. The first thing I would do to investigate is to google search the number that is calling you.