Can a debt collector speak to someone other thanthe person be suedregarding the debt?

Debt collector talked to wife not me even though i am the one that they are suing (credit card for $20,000). Both my name and my wife’s names are on the account. For some reason they are just suing me. I have not spoken to them yet; my wife has taken the calls and talked to them. Since the lawsuit is against me is it legal for them to discuss everything with my wife without my giving consent? 

Asked on September 11, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a non debtor can be asked for the debtor's whereabouts but the substance of the debt could not be discussed,.  In terms of your debt, both you and your wife are on the credit card, so the possibility that the creditor can speak with your wife is high.  It may not be illegal or against the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act.  As long she is named on the credit, they can speak with her.  They can choose to simply sue you; it may be an oversight or if you are on a single income, they may have simply chosen to sue the one with the income that could be garnished. 

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