Some collection agents check voter registration records in the county of your last residence. If you've reregistered in the same county, the registrar will have your new address.
Debt Collection Agencies
If you don't have an attorney, a collector may contact other people–but only to find out your address, your home phone number, and where you work.
If a bill collector cannot locate you, it is allowed to reach out to third parties, such as relatives, neighbors or your employer, but only to find you. They aren't allowed to disclose that you owe a debt or discuss your finances with others.
The most common way debt collectors get your cell number is when you call them back on your cell phone when you get a collection letter. They then "trap" your cell phone number.
A creditor can merely review your past checks or bank drafts to obtain the name of your bank and serve the garnishment order. If a creditor knows where you live, it may also call the banks in your area seeking information about you.
Usually, a debt collector must obtain a court order before accessing your bank account. However, certain federal agencies, including the IRS, may be able to access your bank account without permission from a court.
A judgment debtor can best protect a bank account by using a bank in a state that prohibits bank account garnishment. In that case, the debtor's money cannot be tied up by a garnishment writ while the debtor litigates exemptions.
For a start, most credit reference agencies gather data from all kinds of places, including rent and utility bills. So, it will be hard for you to move anywhere in your name and hide from debt collectors. Similarly, if you don't have a credit record, you may find it hard to rent anywhere at all.
Changing your name does not mean that you can ignore debts taken out in your previous name – they are still “yours” no matter what you call yourself. One of the main purposes of credit reference agencies is to check credit applications for fraud. Credit Reference Agencies have access to a wide variety of information.
Debt collectors may contact third parties like a cosigner to get your home address, phone number, or place of employment. Asking family members about your whereabouts and basic contact information is perfectly legal.
For most debts, the time limit is 6 years since you last wrote to them or made a payment. The time limit is longer for mortgage debts. If your home is repossessed and you still owe money on your mortgage, the time limit is 6 years for the interest on the mortgage and 12 years on the main amount.
In most cases, the statute of limitations for a debt will have passed after 10 years. This means a debt collector may still attempt to pursue it (and you technically do still owe it), but they can't typically take legal action against you.
The first step to stopping debt collectors from calling you is telling them the 11-word phrase - “Please cease and desist all calls and contact with me, immediately.”
Congress passed a law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to govern telemarketing. However, it also applies to debt collection calls. Basically, the TCPA provides that companies including debt collectors can't call your cell with an autodialer.
They may be spying on you to find out what you are buying, how they can find you and may even contact your friends in attempt to get a hold of you. Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself from unfair debt collection practices and keep your private life away from the eyes of creditors.
Federal law doesn't give a specific limit on the number of calls a debt collector can place to you. A debt collector may not call you repeatedly or continuously intending to annoy, abuse, or harass you or others who share the number.
If you have moved a bailiff may take the law into their own hands and try to trace your new address if they have discovered you are no longer living at your previous address.
Can someone using my address affect my credit score? Sharing an address with someone does not make you liable for their debts. Previous debts associated with your address are also not your responsibility. You can only be liable for joint debts which are in your name, or in joint names with you and someone else.
Always keep in mind that if the debt is not legally yours, a bailiff has virtually no power. They cannot force entry into your home or use a locksmith to get your front door open.
Bailiffs act on the paperwork provided to them. If they have a court order that says they need to come to your address, then this is the place they will visit. If bailiffs are attending at the wrong address then writing a letter of complaint would be the best way to identify this to them.
Can a debt collector come to your house without notice? Yes, there's no formal process that debt collectors have to follow, unlike court appointed representatives, such as bailiffs. There are standards debt collectors have to meet and limitations to their powers.
To find out if you've got savings or are expecting a pay out, your creditor can get details of your bank accounts and other financial circumstances. To do this they can apply to the court for an order to obtain information. You'll have to go to court to give this information on oath.
A bank account levy allows a creditor to legally take funds from your bank account. When a bank gets notification of this legal action, it will freeze your account and send the appropriate funds to your creditor. In turn, your creditor uses the funds to pay down the debt you owe.
Answer. Bad news: It's legal for a creditor with a court judgment against you to freeze or "attach" your bank account. Some creditors, like the IRS, can attach your account even without a court judgment. (Learn how to avoid frozen bank accounts.)