In a recent case I uncovered training materials in which a major finance company admitted they used contacts with a debtor’s family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to leverage payments. These are called Third-Party Contacts (TPCs) under the law. They are one of the stocks and trades of Debt Collector Abuse.
I’ll come back to the training materials in a minute, but a few words about Third Party Contacts (TPCs)
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors may contact a TPC one time to verify debtor contact information. Debt Collectors cannot contact TPCs if they already have current contact information.
When debt collectors contact TPCs, they cannot release any of your private or personal information, including that you owe or that the debt collector is calling about a debt.
This all begs the question: Why is calling TPCs part of a debt collector’s standard operating procedure?
The answer is simple. It puts tremendous pressure on the debtor. It is very embarrassing for the debtor. The debtor fears that the debt collector will continue to call his/her family, friends, employers, co-workers, neighbors, etc.
The debt collector know that many debtors will do virtually anything to avoid this embarrassment, incluing paying a bad or bogus debt, and/or paying much more than actually is due.
The major finance company I mentioned earlier, included in its training materials and guidelines for its collection agents the reminder that TPC can be used to exert tremendous leverage on the debtor. This is completely inappropriate and unlawful.
If you think you or someone close to you has been the victim of Debt Collection Abuse, then you should contact a qualified attorney right away.