FDCPA - Can Debt Collectors Call me at Work?
“Debt Collectors are Calling me at Work" You'd be surprised how often I hear this.
I get many telephone calls where clients tell me, “Debt Collectors are calling me at work". This can have a severe impact on your job since most employers prohibit their employees from receiving personal telephone calls at their place of employment. So, if you’re ready to tell me “Debt Collectors are calling me at work" – lets dive into what the FDCPA says about their ability to do so.
Under 15 USC 1692c (a)(3), Without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector…a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt – at the consumer’s place of employment if the debt collector konws or has reason to know that the consumer’s employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication.
To further clarity this, lets break this provision down into parts.(1) Without the prior consent of the consumer given DIRECTLY to the Debt Collector (2) A debt collector MAY NOT communicate with a consumer…(3) at the consumer’s place of employment if (4) the debt collector knows or (4) has reason to know that (5) the consumer’s employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication.
So, simply put, if you have debt collectors calling you at work, for the debt collector to comply with the FDCPA they cannot call you at work anymore if they know or have reason to know that your employer basically prohibits personal calls.
So, to trigger this provision, if a debt collector calls you at work, after obtaining the name of the collector, the collection agency name and the call back number for the collection agency tell the debt collector, “My employer prohibits me from receiving calls at my place of employment. The number you have reached me at is my place of employment. Please delete this number from your database and do not contact me at this number again". At that point, terminate the phone call. If the same company calls you at work again, you have a FDCPA case against that collection agency.
As a sidenote, which I will cover in another guide, the FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors from calling consumers at inconvient times. Therefore, if you tell the debt collector that you getting calls at your place of employement during business hours is inconvenient and the same result (they can't call you at work again) occurs.
Congress realized that you can’t pay back their debts if you are getting harassed while you are trying to make money to do so. As such, they’ve provided protection for you while you are at work.