How does federal law protect debtors’ location information?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2019 | consumer fraud |

In Indiana, people who are in debt will often be pursued in many ways by creditors and debt collectors. The tactics these entities use will sometimes go right up to the line of legality and propriety. Oftentimes, they go over the line and violate federal law regulating consumer rights. When unfair debt collection practices take place, it is important to understand how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act helps consumers.

One of the ways in which creditors and debt collectors might violate the FDCPA is by using illegal tactics to acquire the debtor’s location information. There are rules that regulate how this can be done and why. When the debt collector seeks the location information from a person other than the consumer, it is required that the debt collector provide identification, say that the contact is to confirm or correct the information as to the consumer’s location and, if asked, identify the employer. The debt collector cannot say that the debtor owes debt.

Regarding the frequency of communication, the debt collector cannot communicate with a person more than one time unless the person asks for another communication or if there is reason to believe that the previous information was inaccurate or incomplete and the accurate information is now available. Communication cannot be done via postcard. There can be no language or a symbol on the envelope or within the communication that will suggest that the debt collector is in that business or the communication is related to a debt.

Finally, when the debt collector has become aware that the consumer is represented by an attorney as to the debt with the ability to communicate with the law office, the communication must be done with the attorney. The only exception is if the attorney does not reply in a reasonable amount of time. When a consumer is dealing with debt and struggling with it, it only makes matters worse when debt collectors are constantly contacting the individual, relatives, friends, employers and neighbors. The FDCPA regulates against this, but some still do it. There are financial protections from unfair debt collection to consumer fraud.