Is there any way for me to stop a collection agency from contacting my spouse?
San Diego, CA |
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.
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)
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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.
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.