My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: California

A little over a year ago, I lost my job of 8 years and while waiting for the UI benefits to kick in, I took out a few small loans from a check cashing/loan provider. The sum was for $300, and I had forgotten about it when trying to play catch up with all my other bills.

It's my understanding that collectors can only contact my family to locate me, however; today my grandmother called me and said that she has made a payment to a collector who contacted her about my debt. She explained to me that they told her, of course, that my credit would be ruined, and that if the sum wasn't paid, I wouldn't be able to get a job once it has been reported.

This sent her into a panic, as she has been increasingly worried about this issue. My grandmother immediately pulled out her checkbook and provided the caller with her banking information. Afterwards, she called me to let me know about the encounter.

I was shocked, not that they contacted her, as I left her info on the application as a reference, but that they would share my financial information with her and frighten her into offering payment.

This situation, while a kind gesture on grams part, has left me feeling guilty and inadequate at a time where I am trying to regain my confidence to rejoin the workforce. Is this legal, and if not, what should I do?