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Discussing a debtor with a third party: What to know

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2022 | Creditors' Rights

Trying to collect money that’s owed to your company may seem like a daunting task. For some, especially small businesses, getting all of the money due to them is critical to their survival. While it’s understandable that there should be some urgency, you must still ensure that you’re complying with all of the applicable laws. 

Debt collectors are bound by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. One of the things that this covers is who you can discuss a debt with. You can’t just start calling people who know the person who owes you money – like their neighbors or relatives –  and tell them about the debt. 

Who can you discuss a debt with?

Obviously, you can discuss the debt with the person who owes you money. You can also talk to their spouse about the debt. If the person is a minor, you can speak to their parent. If there’s an administrator, an executive, a guardian or a lawyer, you can speak to them. 

If you do opt to contact other people, you have to be careful what you say. The only information you can try to get out of the person is where the debtor lives now, where they work and what phone number for them is valid. Beyond that, you can’t try to get any other information and you can’t give any other information. 

Trying to collect debts can take up a lot of time that might be useful elsewhere. Working with someone who can firmly uphold your right to collect money that’s owed to you can help to free up your time so you can actively run the business. It also helps to ensure that you’re running afoul of the law.