Can a debt collector contact my family members?

I set up a payment arrangement with a collection agency and made the first few payments but had to stop due to another bill. I left my job and changed my cell to a generic voicemail so the collection agency has not been able to get in touch with lately. The other day I got a call from my mom and the collection agency had called them about a way to contact me. Can they do this? I thought it was illegal to contact my family members?

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May 22, 2011
Can a debt collector contact my family members?

Debt collectors are legally entitled to contact your friends, family members, neighbors and others to try to find out how to contact you. However, they are not entitled to tell these individuals why they want to find you.

By the way, it's a serious matter when you set up a payment arrangement with a collection agency and then do not live up to the terms of that arrangement. Therefore, if the agency you had a payment arrangement with is able to find you, it's unlikely that it will be willing to reinstate the agreement you had with one another or negotiate a new one with you, and it's likely that the collector will instead sue you for the money you owe. Even if you contact the collector yourself and offer to start paying on your past due debt again, I will be surprised if the collector is very receptive to your offer because he will no longer trust that you will live up to your word. Never agree to a payment arrangement you do not believe you can afford and that you are not 100% committed to.

Oct 25, 2011
I feel like my right have been violated.
by: Anonymous

A debt collector called my house today I wasn,t home but my husband answer the phone but when I got home she was discussing my debt with him which I thought was against the law. He said she told him that I wrote a bad check which I paid that check off in 2009 she said she was an investigator.

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This could be a debt collection scam. So the first thing you'll want to do is to make sure it's legitimate. You can ask the debt collector to send you something in writing. This is your right - if they don't they are breaking the law.

Please read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers so you understand the basics of dealing with this collection agency. Keep good records of every phone call as well.

Debt collectors can usually talk with your spouse, but wouldn't hurt for you to talk with a consumer law attorney to double check if what they doing to collect is legal.

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