If you have found yourself in a situation where debt collectors are hounding you for debt, you know how Relentless they can get. Creditors and collectors typically won’t call you about debt unless you’ve missed enough payments without settling your debt. If that’s the case, can a debt collector call you at work?
Although the answer might seem obvious, unfortunately, it is not illegal for debt collectors to do so. Let’s investigate further and see what a debt collector can and cannot do.
Can a debt collector call you at work?
Yes, they are no legal restrictions that prevent a debt collector from calling at work. However, the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from calling your job if the collector has reason to know that your employer forbids these types of calls.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a final rule amending Regulation F, which implements the FDCPA, to clarify how collectors may use texts, emails, and use other forms of digital communication, like social media, to contact you, including at work. The rule explains how the FDCPA’s protections apply to digital communications and gives consumers the ability to unsubscribe from debt collectors’ electronic messages. It also describes how collectors may use voicemails and limits how often debt collectors can call you. The final rule becomes effective on November 30, 2021, one year after publication in the Federal Register.https://www.consumerfinance.gov/
Can a debt collector contact your employer?
Yes, a debt collector can indeed contact your employer or your HR department. When a debt collector does this, they are only allowed to do two certain things:
- They are calling to verify your employment
- They are calling to request your contact information and address
Debt collectors are only allowed to contact your employer for these two things. Anything else it’s not allowed. For example, they cannot ask an employer to garnish your wages. Only a court-ordered action allows this.
To summarize, they can only contact your employer to verify who you are and to confirm employment. That’s it.
Does my state prohibit debt collector calls at work?
Outside of the two examples I have given above, you’ll local and state laws might have additional protection laws from both debt collectors and creditors. It’s always a good idea to check with you or local state laws or State Attorney General to find out what is legal in your state.
Since these laws vary from state to state, you can do this to figure out what is allowed and not allowed in your own state.
What if they keep contacting me at work?
If the debt collectors keep calling you and distracting you while you’re at work, the FDCPA can protect you from this as well. If you are not allowed to receive any personal calls during work, you should tell the debt collector that. Make sure you take note of the date, time, and document this conversation.
If the debt collector continues to harass you even after stating this to them, then they would have violated the law. In this case, make sure you file a complaint with the FTC. Once that’s done, they will conduct their own investigation and act accordingly.
Another option is to provide them with a cease-and-desist letter, basically stating that you would not like to be contacted again by them.
Who else can a debt collector contact?
Legally, a debt collector can discuss your debt with your spouse or your attorney. Anyone else is really not supposed to know your debt situation and get contacted by a debt collector. This includes bosses, clients, workmates, friends, relatives, etc.
In the instances that they do contact people outside of your immediate family or attorney, they may be violating the law. In these cases, make sure to also file a complaint to the FTC. You might also have legal protection against this kind of behavior.
Getting contacted and harassed by debt collectors is a headache and extremely uncomfortable. This is especially true when they start contacting people other than yourself to collect the debt. Some of this behavior is outright illegal, so make sure you know your laws and rights.
Wish you all the best, and if you have any experience you’d like to share, feel free to comment below.