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Debt collection law in WA state, creditors right to call debtor at work, fair debt collection practices act

Seattle, WA |

I have told Wells Fargo they are not allowed to call me on my work Cell phone over 20times. They continue to call. Today I was with my boss (again), and they still insisted on trying to talk to me. What can I do to stop them from jeopardizing my job.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You should have a pen and paper handy at work. Get the number the collector is calling from if you have caller ID. Say "Oh, I'm glad you called. I have something to send you. What is your name, agency, address, and who are you collecting for." Then say "My employer does not allow calls at work. This is notice under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to stop calling me at work. If you call me again I may report you to the FTC" Note any future calls. Each call carries a possible penalty if you are successful in a FDCPA suit that some attorneys specialize. Visit www.ftc.gov for more information.

    If you are getting calls on your personal cell phone, you should send a "cease and desist" letter. Here is what the FTC says about this:

    What to do after the Cease and Desist Once the collection agency receives your cease and desist letter they can communicate with you once more, via mail, letting you know one of three things: that further efforts to collect the debt are terminated, that certain actions may be taken by the debt collector, or that the debt collector is definitely going to take certain actions.
    When you send the cease and desist letter to the debt collector, send it via certified mail with return receipt requested. This will provide proof that the letter was sent and received. If the debt collector communicates with you beyond the single instance allowed by law, this evidence will allow you to seek punitive action against the debt collector.


  2. You should have a pen and paper handy at work. Get the number the collector is calling from if you have caller ID. Say "Oh, I'm glad you called. I have something to send you. What is your name, agency, address, and who are you collecting for." Then say "My employer does not allow calls at work. This is notice under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to stop calling me at work. If you call me again I may report you to the FTC" Note any future calls. Each call carries a possible penalty if you are successful in a FDCPA suit that some attorneys specialize. Visit www.ftc.gov for more information.

    If you are getting calls on your personal cell phone, you should send a "cease and desist" letter. Here is what the FTC says about this:

    What to do after the Cease and Desist Once the collection agency receives your cease and desist letter they can communicate with you once more, via mail, letting you know one of three things: that further efforts to collect the debt are terminated, that certain actions may be taken by the debt collector, or that the debt collector is definitely going to take certain actions.
    When you send the cease and desist letter to the debt collector, send it via certified mail with return receipt requested. This will provide proof that the letter was sent and received. If the debt collector communicates with you beyond the single instance allowed by law, this evidence will allow you to seek punitive action against the debt collector.

    This answer is only general advice and does not create an attorney client relationship. You should consult a local attorney in person for specific advice on your situation.


  3. Note that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not apply to creditors collecting their own debt. This means that if you owe Wells Fargo money, and it is calling (rather than a collection agency or debt buyer), the FDCPA won't stop it from calling.

    Washington State may have state laws that offer protections similar to the FDCPA when the original creditor calls. I recommend checking with a local consumer protection attorney.


  4. It is against the law for debt collectors to contact you at work after you have properly notified them not to do that. You need an attorney who is knowledgable in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and also the consumer protection laws in your state.

    The National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) maintans a web site that contains a geographical listing of consumer law attorneys all over the US - www.naca.net - There should be someone on there who can assist.

    Good luck.

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