Can a Collection Agency Call my Parents?

Alex, a subscriber, wrote in because a debt collector is giving her hell. They continually call her parents and brother demanding that somebody “take care of the debt.”

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector may contact relatives, but only to get contact information of the actual debtor.

In this case the debtor is fully aware of how to contact Alex because they have her address and phone number.

Their intention is purely to harass the family and unlawfully shame the debtor into paying. Here is my advice on how to get the collection calls to stop from Midland:

Keep a detailed log of all the calls, the times and dates and who else they called.

Inform the collection agency, via writing, of all violations. Provide the details from your log above.

Finally, draft a cease and desist letter. Demand they stop calling the relatives.

If they continue to call the relatives, they are clearly breaking the law. If you have a documented record of violations it will help your attorney secure a victory in Federal Court.

How to Protect Your Personal Info from Midland Credit Management

Do you ever wonder about whether collection agencies like Midland Credit Management (mcm) shares your personal information with other companies?

Here is the form you can use to opt-out and protect your privacy – and prevent Midland from sharing your personal information:

Statute of Limitations on Capital One Account

Below is a question from a reader I thought deserved publishing:


What is the statue of limitations. I have a negative mark on my credit from a past boyfriend who they can not get to pay so they went after me. It is from 1996 and I have asked for proof from Capital one of my signature on a credit app and they never were able to provide any information to me so now they sold it to the Palisades debt collection company. I have sent letters to the credit bureau’s and they always say it is verified. Any thoughts?

Thanks, Michele

Hi Michele,

First, it sounds like this debt is unsecured, correct? Meaning you did not secure the debt with collateral of any kind? That is usually the case with credit card debt.

Second, assuming that’s the case, then the statute of limitations which would apply is that of unsecured debt. It varies by state.

For instance, in New York, the statute of limitations on credit card debt is six years. This is usually measured from the last time any payment or offer of payment was made.

So, the lesson is not to make any offer to pay the debt because it could re-start the clock all over again!

Best of Luck!

How to Deal With Collection Agencies on Your Credit Report

How To Deal with Collection Agencies on Your Credit Report

By: Marc Newman

A collection, also known as a charge-off, is a debt that originated with a first-party creditor. For example, almost any contract can convert to a collection including credit cards, cell phones, auto loan deficiencies, etc.

The original creditor has given up trying to collect which usually happens after about 6 months of non-payment by the debtor. Once your debt becomes a “charge-off” it is written off by the creditor. They get a tax break and it becomes a collection item. A third-party buys the debt for a few pennies on the dollar. Collection agencies like Midland Credit Management buys the debt because they have highly trained specialists who are experts at getting reluctant debtors to pay the debt.

Collection agencies are hired because they are experts at getting you to part with your money no matter what it may mean for your credit history.

- Read More about Charge Offs

How Will a Collection Damage my Credit Score?

By: Marc Newman

Once a debt has been sold, the way it is reported on your credit record changes from bad (late bill) to terrible (collection). Collections may appear in various forms on your credit report including: “unpaid collection,” “paid collection,” or “collection – paid or settled for less.”

Collections are one of the biggest reasons banks reject your credit application. Just one collection on your credit history could stand in the way of getting approved for a credit card or auto laon!

A collection like a Midland Credit Management item – even if paid – is very damaging to your credit history. This surpises people because they believe a paid collection is OK.

Wrong! A paid or settled collection is just as damaging as those that are not paid!