Debt collectors are strictly regulated in how they collect debts from consumers. One common consumer complaint is that debt collectors are calling a consumer at their workplace, harassing a consumer and/or co-workers, or revealing the debt to co-workers.
If debt collectors have contacted someone else about your debt, here is what you need to know about your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Does your employer prohibit debt collection calls at work?
If a debt collector knows, or has reason to know, that a consumer’s employer prohibits calls from a debt collector, or personal calls, they cannot contact the consumer at work.
Debt collectors usually learn this one of two ways. One, if a consumer tells a debt collector they are not allowed to take collection calls at work, that puts them on notice. Two, if a debt collector talks to a co-worker, and the co-worker informs the debt collector that the employer prohibits collection calls at work, that also puts them on notice.
Did you tell the debt collector to stop calling you at work?
As noted above, if you tell a debt collector to stop calling you at work, they have to stop. This is actually covered by two separate provisions of the FDCPA: prohibited calls to the workplace and calls at an inconvenient or unusual time or place.
If you told a debt collector to stop calling your workplace, make a note of it. If they continue to call you, you will want to know when you first told them to stop calling.
Did you consent to receive debt collection calls at work?
A debt collector may only contact a consumer at their workplace if the consumer gives them consent, or with the express permission of a court of a competent jurisdiction.
In other words, if you tell them to stop calling you at work, that should be the end of it. Subsequent phone calls to your workplace may be violations of the FDCPA.
What did the debt collector tell your co-workers?
If someone else at your workplace was contacted by a debt collector about your alleged debt, the debt collector may have violated other provisions of the FDPCA. For example, debt collectors cannot talk about your debt with anyone else at your workplace. And a debt collector cannot leave a message with one of your coworkers.
If one of your co-workers is receiving collection calls about your alleged debt, find out everything the debt collector told them. If the debt collector revealed the debt, they may have violated the FDCPA.
If you think your rights have been violated, please contact me.