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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Awhile back my husband took out a loan at a check into cash

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Awhile back my husband took out a loan at a check into cash place. For several months we went in paid off the loan and took out a new loan just because we didn't have the money to "just pay it off". Then my husband lost his job and we were unable to pay the loan off at all. I know this is wrong and we are obligated to pay this loan, which we intend to do as soon as we can, but right now it is what it is. Today everyone that he listed as a reference got a letter from the check into cash place that included the following information " That the loan was still unpaid, that we have 7 days to pay it before it gets sent to an attorney to file a lawsuit, my husbands photo, social security number, bank account number, home address and telephone number." The envelope was addressed " Scott Hoppel CO Rob Cardwell" Scott being my husband and Rob being the reference. My question is this, is it legal for them to be able to send all of this very personal and confidential information out to people he listed as a reference on his application? Does it make it ok just because his name was also on the envelope? I just feel very violated by the sharing of this information, not so much that we owe them money, but the social, bank account and home information? How is this ok??? Is there anything I can do about this?
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you this evening.

I am sorry that you feel so violated and I can absolutely understand your concerns. On the initial application that your husband filled out, was all that information available, or did the lender obtain that information after the fact? My answer to you would be dependent highly on how you answer this, thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, this is all information that he had to put on the application in order to get the loan. The people that these letters were sent to were only listed as references, and they aren't even all personal references there are also business references. It concerns me most that not only did they include his social security number, bank account number and a photocopy of the check he gave them, but they also highlighted this information on the letters sent to the references. The envelope was addressed " Scott Hoppel /CO Rob Cardwell. Anyone that was sent this letter now has the ability to steal his identity or fraudulently use our bank account.

Thank you for your follow-up.

Here is the issue--that information is generally protected BUT it is not protected if that information was placed on your application with this person listed as the co-signer or reference to the debt. The reason is because typically a co-signer is jointly and separately liable for the debt, which means that this person can be sued for the balance the same way that your husband can be sued. They, therefore, are likewise entitled to this information because if they are sued for the loan, the co-signers can turn around and sue the initial party to recoup their losses.

If this person was just a reference (not a co-signer), then your information is NOT supposed to be sent to them because a reference is not a party to the suit. That is a violation under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) and permits you to seek counsel and counter sue them for breaching their fiduciary duty to keep your information private AND for attempting to collect the debt in an unauthorized manner, specifically by bullying you via other parties. That, by itself, can very likely permit you to file against them and seek compensation via the courts.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for that information, it is very helpful. I just have one more question. As far as I know these people were listed ONLY as references. They were not asked if they wanted to be references and would have never even known they were used as our references if we had paid the debt. Is it possible for them to have been co-signers without us or them knowing that's what they were? The check into cash place has also called our references several times including my job, but has never mentioned to any of them that they would be held responsible for our debt.

Thank you for your follow-up. You are most welcome, glad that I was able to provide you with positive information.

If they were listed ONLY as references, then they are not entitled to your husband's information, and it is really as simple as that. They could not have been co-signers--that is a formal step where they agree to cover the debt, something a reference generally does not do. Therefore they aren't liable for the debt and aren't entitled to the information.

Hope that helps!

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