How is a Debt Collector allowed to locate you?



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How can a debt collector collect contact information under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The law on how a collector may collect information about your location is found in 15 U.S.C. §1692b

A debt collector may only contact a third party if s/he follows the rules.

They have to 1- Identify him/her self, state only that they are verifying location information, and only identify their employer if asked; 2- NOT state that the consumer owes a debt; 3-not call more than once unless there are specific exceptions; 4- not communicate by postcard; 5- not use any information on the outside of the envelope that indicates that they are debt collectors; 6- communicate with anyone after they know the consumer is represented by an attorney.

So what does this mean for you?

There are 2 things that collectors like to do that are violations of this (and other provisions) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Block parties and cube-farm parties (also known as office parties).

A block party is where a debt collector calls the neighbors all around a consumer and asks for them to carry some information to you, asking you to call. They call the neighbor on the left, the right, across the street and both diagonals.

An office party or cube-farm party is where they call your co-workers, and ask for them to pass you a message.  It is the same thing as a block party, only at work.

Why do they do this?  Because it is VERY embarrassing to have your neighbors know that you have a debt collector calling.  They are going to ask you why this person is calling.  Clearly, this is intrusive, and you don’t have to answer, but the collectors know that you will do almost anything to stop the calls- like pay.  So the question becomes- why are they calling?  It’s not to locate you.  They know where you live or work.  They can write to you, or call your home or cell phone, or work phone.  It is for the sheer embarrassment factor of all those calls.  The embarrassment, and hurt.  Not only does this violate the section of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on communication, it may also be harassment or abuse and an unfair and deceptive act under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

If you have been impacted by anything we mentioned here, you can make an appointment to see us.



The rights afforded to you, as a consumer, under the FCRA and the FDCPA means that a corporation or party who has violated your rights may ultimately be made to pay for statutory damages, actual damages, and your legal fees. Therefore, if we agree to represent you in any case, you won’t pay any attorney’s fees unless we are successful and we recover on your behalf. We are here to serve and have assisted many consumers TO enforce their legal rights. Let us try and see if we can help you too. That means you pay no fee in your case unless we recover.

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Krumbein Consumer Legal Services, Inc.

1650 Willow Lawn Drive

Suite 300

Richmond, VA 23230