Because debt is not something that is commonly discussed in the workplace or with friends and family members, one of the biggest fears that many consumers have is that a debt collector will attempt to embarrass them by discussing the details of their situation with people that they are close to.
While this is completely illegal in just about every scenario, it is also something that is far more common than it should be. So in an attempt to clear the air regarding debt collection and employment, let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that unethical debt collectors might be stepping over the line.
Can a Debt Collector Contact a Debtor at Work?
The first thing that we have to address is the fact that is actually legal for debt collectors to attempt to make contact with debtors through their place of employment. Because debtors often provide employment information when they sign up for credit, debt collectors typically have information about a debtor’s employment, so it makes sense to attempt to contact them there.
However, it is completely illegal for a debt collector to discuss any details of an account with anyone other than the debtor or their spouse. Debt collectors must also respect anyone who states in writing that they do not wish to be contacted at work, and many employers also prohibit collection calls.
Can a Debt Collector Discuss Details with an Employer?
Debt collectors are permitted to contact the employers of the people they are attempting to collect from, but there are very specific limitations on the things that they are allowed to discuss.
The primary reasons that a collector can contact an employer are to verify the location of a debtor or attempt to make contact with them. Outside of that, the only other things that a debt collector can discuss with an employer are the specifics of a court-ordered garnishment or information on insurance in cases of medical-related debts.
Can a Debt Collector Discuss Details with Friends and Family?
Much like the rules concerning employers, debt collectors are permitted to contact friends and family, but only in an attempt to locate a debtor. Outside of location information, debt collectors are strictly prohibited from discussing details of an account with anyone beyond the debtor or their spouse.
One exception to this rule would be discussing details with an attorney that represents the debtor, but in most cases, that decision is made by the debtor, not the debt collector.
Debt Collectors Must Identify Themselves
In any cases where a debt collector is contacting friends, family members, or employers, they must identify themselves by name. They may also be required to provide the name of their agency as well.
While these rules and regulations exist to protect consumers, there are plenty of predatory debt collectors that simply refuse to follow them. If you happen to find yourself dealing with one of these less-reputable collection agencies, be sure to report them to local authorities immediately.
And if you are in need of a reputable collection agency, the professionals here at Direct Recovery are always available to discuss your situation.