Is it legal for a debt collector to call my neighbor?

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Is it legal for a debt collector to call my neighbor?

A debt collector called my neighbor looking for me for a past due account. This neighbor has the same last name but not first name. My issue is, that the collector has my name, phone number, cell phone number, and address. He called my neighbor because I didn’t return his call so his job is to find me. He thought his information was wrong so that’s why he called the neighbor. He said not to worry he didn’t give out any information; I’m not sure if he did or not. We are in the process of filling out papers to file bankruptcy. Was what he did legal?

Asked on October 11, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collector may contact others for the purpose of obtaining location information about the consumer. They must identify themselves and state that they are confirming or correcting location information. They cannot discloses that there is a debt at issue.  Additionally, they must identify who they work for (ie their employer), if asked. 

Since this collector apparently did not disclose any information regarding the debt or that one was even owed, he does not appear to have violated the law.


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