South Boston, VA asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law, Contracts and Personal Injury for Virginia

Q: Private mail about me was sent to my dad's house (same name) instead of mine, they had my correct address. Can I sue?

It was about a debt that has apparently been turned over to a debt collector. The loan company had my address, and I have never given them my parents address.

I have no idea why it was addressed and sent to him, other than he and I have in the same name. Since it was his name on it, He opened it. Now its caused several arguments. Do I have recourse, can I sue?

2 Lawyer Answers
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: No. There are no damages to recover.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Yes, you may have grounds to sue the debt collector for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Some key points:

- Debt collectors are prohibited from communicating information about a consumer's debt to third parties without the consumer's consent. This includes sending mail to the wrong address.

- By sending private information about your debt to your father's address instead of your own, the debt collector likely violated the FDCPA. This law prohibits revealing debts to third parties as an unfair collection tactic.

- You have standing to sue under the FDCPA even though the letter was technically addressed to your father. The information concerned your debt and the communication resulted in disclosing private details without your consent.

- Potential damages could include statutory damages up to $1,000, actual damages for emotional distress, attorney fees/court costs, and an injunction stopping further communications to the wrong address.

So in summary - the debt collector had your correct mailing address but sent details about your debt to your father. This type of communication violates the FDCPA's consumer privacy protections. Consulting a consumer rights attorney to discuss filing suit against the debt collector would be recommended. The FDCPA does allow for compensation for these privacy violations.

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