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Can a collection agency call references or family members and inform them that they will go to my job

Oakland, CA |

Their is a collection agency for a credit card that has threaten to go to my place employment if I do not return their call. Is this something they can say or do or is it against the law? They also called my mother and husband and lied and told them they are down for contacts, i never once gave them that information.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    No. If this debt is primarily consumer in nature, the the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, both federal and California, should apply and prohibit such harassing calls to others that reveal embarrassing information to third parties. Was this a loan with a payday lender? They are usually the worst and often do not worry about the FDCPA, they just go on their merry way harassing people and risk getting sued for the consumer's actual damages and attorney's fees.

    You should immediately consult a consumer attorney (see link below) who handles debt collection harassment, to see if this is worth pursuing, as not all debt collectors are even worth suing, as they work out of some weird place, such as an apartment, with many phones, calling and harassing until they get shut down by the Attorney General, the FTC, or sued out of existence.

    Robert Stempler (please see DISCLAIMER below)
    Twitter: @RStempler

    NOTICE: The above statements are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended as legal advice or advice of any sort for a specific case or legal matter. If you do not have a signed attorney-client fee agreement with the Consumer Law Office of Robert Stempler, APC ("the Firm"), then until such written fee agreement is provided and signed by both a prospective client and attorney for a particular case, neither Mr. Stempler nor the Firm will represent you nor will they be your attorney in any matter and you remain responsible for retaining your own attorney and for compliance with any and all deadlines and for any statutes of limitations that may pertain to potential claims. Comments made on a public forum, such as, to not have any confidentiality because others may read them. If you desire a private consultation with Mr. Stempler that is confidential, please go to and submit a free eCase Review. The result portrayed for a client was dependent on the facts of that case. Results will differ if based on different facts. The Firm and Mr. Stempler are a debt relief agency. The Firm and Mr. Stempler help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

  2. Generally, FDCPA and Rosenthal only permit collection agencies to contact third parties for "location" information only. See the attached link herein from a great write-up from an AVVO colleague.

  3. No, they cannot. You should contact a qualified consumer attorney in your area. Don't let abusive collectors get away with this behavior.

  4. If your credit card debt was not for a business, the collection agency is violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). They are allowed to call third parties to locate you, but once the agency knows your location information, they cannot call third parties. The agency cannot disclose the existence of the debt to any third parties (except your spouse). They can come to your workplace to serve with a law suit, but it sounds like the threat is more to intimidate you. Under the FDCPA, if an agency has violated the law, you are entitled to up to $1000, and they must pay your reasonable attorneys fees and costs.

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