Search Site
Menu
Is It Against The Law For A Debt Collector to Call My Family And Friends?

Whether it’s happened to you or you heard from a friend or acquaintance, debt collectors can be ruthless when it comes to satisfying a delinquent account. They will call, they will harass, they will seek out people around you, your workplace all in an effort to speak to you and to convince you to satisfy the debt or else. And, while the debt may truly stem from a loan or a payment that you defaulted on, the ruthless tactics and techniques used by debt collectors to satisfy the debt are oftentimes far in excess of the amount owed.

While the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted in part to control and stop such rogue practices, there are exceptions and when properly followed a debt collector may contact people that know you during its collection efforts. However, they are limited in what they can discuss with the third party and how many times they may contact him/her.

So, while the statute holds contact must be limited to ascertaining a debtor’s location, the question remains that when a debtor seeks to challenge the communication, whose burden is it to demonstrate the communication went beyond location information.

While a typical civil action generally places the burden of proof upon the plaintiff, in Evankavitch v. Green Tree Servicing, PICS No. 15-1100, a case of first impression the Third Circuit considered who was in a better position to know the facts surrounding a communication, plaintiff who would have no first hand knowledge of the conversation, or the defendant debt collector who should have access to the facts and circumstances surrounding the communication made.

In Evankavitch, plaintiff sought protection under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act from a debt collector she learned was contacting her neighbors and family members in an effort to get them to convince her to call them back about a mortgage loan she had defaulted on some years prior. While plaintiff acknowledged the exception, which allows one call for the purpose of ascertaining a debtor’s location, plaintiff argued Green Tree exceeded the exception.

At the District Court level, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff awarding her $1,000. On appeal, Green Tree argued the instruction to the jury that the burden of proof rested with the defendant was improper and therefore the jury’s award should be reversed. The Third Circuit disagreed. It held that where the communication is between the defendant and a third party, the defendant was in the better position to have information related to the nature of the communication, its basis, its purpose, the specifics surrounding the call and the number of calls made to a particular person. Accordingly, the decision was affirmed and the burden of proof was appropriately attributed to the defendants.

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form

Client Testimonials
  • "I had a slip and fall in a grocery store and injured my shoulder to the point of needing surgery to repair. The Law Firm made contact with them to make restitution on my behalf. After going back and forth… they awarded me a settlement for my pain and medical bills. The [Firm] were super easy to work with and I would definitely… use them again. I was and am very satisfied with the end result. THANK YOU!"  -Bob S.

  • "When I got hurt at work I didn’t know what I was going to do being a single mom of three. It was very scary and only weeks before Christmas to boot. I was referred to the Pagano Law Firm by my mom and it was the best decision. The Firm took me under their wing and assured me everything would be okay. They handled everything and kept me posted along the way. I am so happy to be back on my feet in more ways than one… my case was handled with such care and the end result was more than I expected. I would recommend the Pagano Law Firm to everyone I know!"  -Jill

  • "We reached out to the Pagano Law Firm after a serious car accident. At the time it was not clear the extent of the injuries and what it would take to make us whole. The Pagano Law Firm attorneys were diligent in the handling of the case and advocated for us not just as clients but as friends. They were considerate and professional throughout the two years it took to bring the case to a close. Ultimately, we were successful in reaching a resolution that surpassed our expectations. We are very grateful to Marlo… and would recommend the firm for any legal concerns."  -M.V.

  • "Excellent. Awesome – very efficient. Thanks for everything."  -J.H.

  • "The Pagano Law Firm put our minds at ease in a difficult situation for us. They made us feel like family & were there with answers to any questions. They made our experience in a difficult situation a good one. Very thankful for the Pagano Law Firm and everyone there. Highly Recommend."  -Richard R.

  • "he Pagano Law Firm was so understanding and supportive in helping with our unexpected situation. We were so grateful to be working with such caring, supportive people. Thank you for all your help and support."  -M.R.

Our Office
  • Media Office
    115 West State Street
    Suite 401
    Media, Pennsylvania 19063
    Phone: 484-442-8750
    Fax: 484-442-8742
Awards & Affiliations