Many of our clients experience debt collection calls at their place of employment. This blog post will discuss when a creditor or third party collection agency may contact you at work, when they may not, and most importantly what you can do about it!
Can a creditor or collection agency contact me at work? As a general rule, a creditor or collection agency may call you at work. Calls to an alleged debtor’s place of employment may continue until that creditor or collection agency knows, or should know that an alleged debtor may not receive calls at work.
A creditor may call you at your place of employment to discuss an alleged debt and attempt to collect the debt with you directly. If you are unavailable, the creditor is allowed to request a co-worker take a message to have you return their call. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) does not specify the number of times collection calls may be placed to employers. However, once an alleged debtor speaks with the creditor or collection agency, the creditor or collection agency may not call back during the same day. Also, keep in mind that even though the creditor may contact you at work to speak with you directly, they are still restricted by the other regulations of the FDCPA. Some of these regulations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Threatening arrest or warrant, alleging the debtor has committed a crime;
- Using obscene language or abusive language;
- Refusing to take attorney information;
- Refusing to disclose the name of the agency for which they are calling; and
- Stating that your wages could be garnished or money seized from you without first obtaining a judgment against you.
A creditor or collection agency may also contact your place of employment and speak with a co-worker for the purpose of verifying that you work there. Calls for the specific purpose of verifying employment can only take place once a month.
A creditor or collection agency is never allowed to disclose information regarding an alleged debt to any third parties without permission from the alleged debtor. If you belief a creditor or collection agency has disclosed information about a debt to a co-worker, or any third party for that matter, it is best to try to interview that third party and record in writing everything that person remembers about the communication.
Read Part II: How can I stop collection calls at work?