Can they do this?

by Billy
(New York, NY)

I received a call from a sick relative today telling me that a person was trying to get in touch with me. They went on to say that this person wanted my relative to call me and then they could have a three way conversation-them, me and my relative. My relative did not agree to this and instead called me. My relative gave me the number given them and it was a number for FMA Alliance. I called and spoke to a woman who demanded that I make a payment on my debt today. I informed her that at this time I could not do this and she went on to tell me that I caused the debt and that I should make amends right now. I again told her that I could not make a payment at which time she got a little annoyed, raised her voice and told me that there was no way that the conversation was going to end until I made a payment to them.

After about 20 minuted of this her supervisor came on the line and said that I have to make a payment. I again repeated that I couldn't and that I would call them next month and hopefully things would be better and I could make a payment. I then informed her that since she was in contact with me and I was talking to them on the phone that they could leave my relative alone and not bother them because they are elderly and ill at which time the supervisor informed me that she would be calling this relative until the debt was paid.

Does this sound right or has this company violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act? What recourse do I have with this company? I have sent a letter asking them to no longer contact family, friends or neighbors and that I will only deal with them in writing? What else should I do?

Comments for Can they do this?

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May 25, 2010
debt collector calling relative
by: Gerri

Unless your relative was a cosigner on your debt, the collector had no business discussing your debt with him or her. A collector can call a third-party to try to locate you, but it certainly cannot try to pressure that person to participate in a three-way call, and doing so is very likely illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (I am not an attorney, and am only providing educational advice here.) I also believe the debt collectors threat to keep calling your relative was illegal. Once the debt collector had your contact information, there is no reason for them to continue contacting anyone else.

If I were you, I would immediately talk to an attorney. If you have a good case against the debt collector (and I suspect you may), you may be entitled to damages and attorney fees if you win in court. Many collectors settle these types of cases before they go that far.

You can talk with a consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases. Learn how to get low cost or FREE legal help with your debt collection problem here.

Will you please let me know what they have to say? You can follow up using the comments link below. I would also encourage you to at least read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free so you will have an overview of your rights. You may even notice some other ways that the collector may have broken the law.

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