In Nichols v. GC Services, LP, 2009 WL 3488365 (D. Ariz. 2009), the United States District Court for Arizona addressed purported threats regarding what the debt collector may or may not do:
In determining whether a threat has been made, “the conditional nature of a statement, such as the use of the words ‘may’ or ‘possible,’ does not negate the existence of a threat if a [communication], in its entirety, could lead the least sophisticated debtor to believe that legal action is a real possibility.” Schwarm v. Craighead, 552 F.Supp.2d 1056, 1077 (E.D.Cal.2008) (analyzing a letter). Although plaintiff apparently has little recollection of the contents of these calls, defendant’s account detail listing suggests that the offset warning was given repeatedly, including in between requests for payment arrangements and immediately after plaintiff was asked if he planned on doing nothing about the debt. See DSTOF, Ex. A at 4-7. A reasonable trier of fact could find that defendant’s conduct, taken in context, would give the least sophisticated debtor the impression that a tax refund seizure was a real possibility when, in fact, it was not. However, the evidence in the record does not compel such a conclusion. Therefore, neither party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on plaintiff’s § 1692e(5) claim. ¶ Plaintiff, for his fourth claim, alleges that defendant violated § 1692c(b) by contacting his coworkers, girlfriend, son, and mother. Except for the purpose of acquiring location information about a consumer, and several other inapplicable situations, debt collectors may not communicate with third parties in connection with a consumer’s debt. 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(b). Defendant contends that plaintiff does not have any admissible evidence of contact with plaintiff’s coworkers, girlfriend, and son beyond the acquisition of location information. We agree. Plaintiff’s account of what these third parties told him about defendant’s calls would constitute inadmissible hearsay if offered in evidence to prove improper contact was made. See Fed.R.Evid. 802.