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  1. #1

    Default Debt Collection at Place of Employment

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Texas

    My young family friend called me last night for advice on whether she should pursue legal remedies against her bank. She had lived in this small town during her teen years as an orphan. She moved away last year with the father of her children to another city for employment opportunities. At that time, her checking account was overdrawn. Now, some 7 or so months later, the woman just moved back to the small town with her two infants (ages: 1 yr and a newborn) and into her own place and recently started working in a local store. Her employer prefers to pay by direct deposit, so she went to the bank to see if she could still use her checking account. The bank said that the account had been closed due to inactivity and opened a new account for her. No mention of any outstanding charges were made by the bank to her at that time. This week, however, a co-worker approached the young lady at work and told her that her husband is "on the board" at the bank and that they had discussed the young woman at home and the husband told his wife that the young woman owed a $500 debt to the bank that she needed to take care of. The co-worker then offered to transport the young woman to the bank and introduce her to her husband so that he could set up an affordable payment arrangement.

    My friend was taken completely by surprised and was placed in a very awkward position. Not sure of how to respond, she agreed to go with the co-worker to the bank to meet her husband. Later, after thinking the matter over, she felt very violated by the breach of her privacy made by the co-worker and her banker husband, so she went back to the bank and lodged a complaint with the bank president. She hoped he would offer to expunge any alleged debt as a result, but he only offered to reprimand the co-worker's husband.

    Would the co-worker and her husband's actions be considered a violation of of the Fair Debt Collections Act? Also, has the co-worker breached any employment laws such as harassment or something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Debt Collection at Place of Employment

    You claimed at first that this happened at your friend's place of employment, but then change your story and make this something that happened at the bank when she was verifying the status of her bank account. Quite obviously there is nothing wrong with the bank telling its customer, there to check on her bank account, that she needed to take care of the money she owed them due to her history of bouncing checks.

    There's no law that says a board member of a bank cannot discuss what happens at a board meeting with his spouse, although from what you've shared it was (and should be) against bank policy and he was reprimanded for his disclosure. You've given no indication that his wife was at any time acting at his direction or as an agent of the bank. If she was an agent of the bank, in-house collections don't implicate the FDCPA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Debt Collection at Place of Employment

    That is a pivotal question. Does the woman that approached your friend work for the bank?

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