Client filling out debt collection lawsuit document

Can a Debt Collector Contact My Minor Child?

Obviously, children shouldn’t accumulate debt. This doesn’t stop debt collectors, however, from occasionally attempting to contact them. If your child has received correspondence from a debt collector, this may be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which is a federal law designed to protect the rights of consumers. The FDCPA limits the activities of debt collectors, including who they may contact. In this article, we discuss whether a debt collector can contact your child. 

The FDCPA and Minors

The FDCPA contains provisions that are designed to prevent the harassment of consumers by debt collectors. Several of these establish guidelines that debt collectors must follow when dealing with minors. For example: 

  • A debt collector may not contact a minor unless the minor’s name is listed on a debt along with his or her parent. In other words, if your child has a cell phone bill, credit card, or other debt for which you or your spouse are a co-signer, then a debt collector is permitted to contact your child about any debt related to the account.
  • If your child lives with you and answers the phone when a debt collector calls, this is not a violation of the FDCPA. However, the debt collector may not use abusive, harassing, or otherwise illegal methods when speaking with your child. In addition, if your child answers the phone when a debt collector calls, and the child specifically asks for the name of the company and what the call is about, the debt collector is permitted to provide the company name and contact information to your child.
  • A debt collector may not disclose your personal or financial information to your child via a phone call or written communication.

FDCPA Permitted Contacts 

Although debt collectors are prohibited in most cases from contacting your child, they are permitted to contact your friends, neighbors, and family members in an effort to locate you. However, they generally may only do so once. When contacting a third party to try to locate you, a debt collector may not disclose that the contact is associated with the collection of a debt, nor can the debt collector reveal any information about the debt itself, such as the company to which the money is owed or the amount owed.

Contact a Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney 

If your child has been contacted by a debt collector in California, you should contact an experienced California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney as soon as possible. At the Fullman Firm, our knowledgeable attorneys are passionate about protecting the rights of our clients. Therefore, when you come to us for assistance with your debt collection matter, we will do everything in our power to ensure that your situation has a successful outcome. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.