FDCPANewsCan a Collection Company/Debt Collector Call Me at Work?

April 1, 2024

Debt Collection

If you’re struggling with debt, the last thing you need is the added stress and embarrassment of debt collectors calling you at your job. It can be a difficult and upsetting situation to deal with, especially if you’re already working hard to make ends meet and get your debts under control.

Many consumer are worried about their coworkers or boss finding out about their financial troubles, or just feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. But it’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and you do have rights when it comes to how debt collectors can communicate with you.

Understanding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

The first thing to know is that there’s a federal law called theFair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that protects consumers from abusive, unfair, and deceptive practices by debt collectors. This law sets strict rules on what collectors can and cannot do when attempting to collect a debt.

Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are generally prohibited from contacting you at work if they know or have reason to know that your employer doesn’t allow such calls. So if you’ve told a collector, either verbally or in writing, that your job doesn’t permit personal calls or debt collection calls, they should stop calling you there.

However, simply telling a collector over the phone to stop calling you at work may not be enough to legally require them to stop. To fully protect yourself under the law, it’s best to inform the collector in writing that you cannot receive collection calls at your workplace.

How to Stop Collection Calls at Work

To stop debt collectors from calling you at work, send them a written notice by mail telling them to stop contacting you at your job. Make sure to make a copy of the letter for your own records before sending it. You can use certified mail with a return receipt requested so you have proof of when the collector received your notice.

After the debt collector receives your written notice, they are permitted to contact you one more time to inform you of any further actions they intend to take, like filing a lawsuit against you. Beyond that one additional contact, they must stop calling you at your workplace once they receive your letter.

It’s important to understand, however, that telling collectors not to call you at work does not eliminate your debt if you legitimately owe it. They can still use other legal means to try to collect the debt from you, like suing you in court. But at least you can put a stop to the stressful disruption of getting collection calls while you’re trying to do your job.

Worried At Work Over Collection Calls

Other Prohibited Debt Collection Practices

Even if your employer does allow some amount of personal calls during work hours, debt collectors are still bound by the other rules set out in the FDCPA. For example, collectors cannot:

Call at Inconvenient Times

The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from calling you at times they know are inconvenient for you. This means they shouldn’t call you early in the morning before 8 A.M. or late at night after 9 P.M. unless you’ve specifically told them these times are okay. They also can’t call you at any other time you’ve told them is inconvenient, like during your work hours or during family meal times.

If a debt collector repeatedly calls you at these inappropriate times, they are violating the law. You have the right to tell them to stop calling you at specific times, and they must comply. Keep a record of when they call and let them know in writing to stop calling at those times.

Using Profane or Obscene Language

Debt collectors are not allowed to use profane, obscene, or abusive language when communicating with you. This means they can’t curse at you, call you names, or use any language meant to embarrass, shame, or scare you.

Even if a debt collector is frustrated or upset, they are required to remain professional and respectful in their communications with you. If they start using offensive or inappropriate language, calmly inform them that their language is unacceptable and end the call. Document the incident with the date, time, and what was said.

Falsely Claiming to Be Attorneys or Government Representatives

Some debt collectors may falsely claim to be attorneys or government representatives in an attempt to frighten you into paying a debt. This is strictly prohibited under the FDCPA.

Debt collectors cannot claim to be someone they’re not, like a lawyer or a government agent. They also can’t send you documents designed to look like official court papers or government forms if they’re not.

If a collector falsely claims to be an attorney or government representative or threatens legal action they can’t or won’t actually take, they are breaking the law. You canreport this behavior to your state’s Attorney General and the FTC.

Threatening Violence or Harm

It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten you with violence or harm. They cannot threaten to physically hurt you, your family members, or your property. They also can’t threaten to have you arrested or thrown in jail for not paying a debt.

Debt collectors are not allowed to use threats or intimidation tactics to try to scare you into paying. If a collector makes any kind of threat or insinuation of violence, document it and report it immediately. This behavior is not only a violation of the FDCPA but also potentially criminal.

Repeatedly Calling to Annoy, Abuse, or Harass

Debt collectors are not permitted to repeatedly call you with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass you. They can’t call you multiple times a day or constantly let the phone ring to try to wear you down. They also can’t call you again right after you hang up on them.

While debt collectors are allowed to contact you to try to collect a debt, they cross the line into harassment if they’re calling you constantly just to bother or upset you. If a collector is repeatedly calling in a harassing manner, tell them firmly to stop! Follow up with a written request for them to cease further contact. If the behavior continues, you can take legal action against them for violating the FDCPA.


Document Everything

Whenever you’re dealing with debt collectors, document all of your communications with them. Keep a record of every phone call, letter, email, or other contact. Write down the dates, times, and a summary of what was said.

This documentation can serve as valuable evidence if you need to file a complaint against a collector, or even sue them for violating your rights under the FDCPA. Debt collection agencies are required by law to abide by the rules, and you can hold them accountable if they don’t.

Reach Out for Assistance Today!

Falling behind on bills and facing collection calls, especially at work, can happen to anyone. It’s an extremely common issue faced by hardworking people all across the country. Financial challenges can arise unexpectedly due to job loss, medical problems, divorce, or other life events beyond your control. It’s not a reflection on you as a person.

The key things to remember are:

  1. You have rights under the FDCPA
  2. You have options for dealing with debt and collectors
  3. You can access help

You don’t need to feel ashamed or hopeless. By staying informed, proactive, and reaching out to us at 877-241-2200 when you need it, you can work your way through these financial difficulties and find a better path forward.

    *Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.