Melissa Lyken | July 21, 2022
Summary: Have you been receiving calls from debt collectors while you're at work? Texas has protections for debtors. Find out if your creditors are violating the law when they call at work and how to stop them.
Receiving calls from debt collectors during working hours in your place of employment can be very stressful and embarrassing. You may not want your co-workers or your boss to know that you have unpaid debts, and you especially do not want them to be aware that you are being chased by a debt collector. You may also be afraid that these kinds of incidents could ruin your good reputation at work. At its worst, it could trigger a conflict between you and your superiors.
If you are an employee in Texas, it is permissible for debt collectors to call you during working hours. They are not violating the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) or even the Texas law on debt collection. Both state and federal law allows a debt collector to call a debtor at work unless the debt collector has reason to know that the debtors employer prohibits the call.
Generally, debt collectors are allowed to call a debtor at work. The exception is when debt collectors are correctly informed that their calls are prohibited in the debtors workplace.
If receiving calls from your debt collector is hindering your work environment or if your company prohibits calls from debt collectors at work, then you need to inform your debt collector. You can simply inform them that your employer is prohibiting calls from debt collectors. It may be done verbally or in writing. Of course, it is better if the notice is done in writing, as this is evidence of the conversation.
When you reach out to the debt collector in writing, you should send the letter via certified mail and require that the debt collector sign a request for signature so that you have documentation and proof that they received the letter for future purposes. Be mindful that if the debt collectors address is a PO Box, you will not be able to request a signature. Keeping this documentation allows you to hold the debt collector accountable if they continue to harass and call you at work.
You should not need to feel discouraged from going to work, or that phone calls from debt collectors compromise your workplace. All you need to do is inform them that there is a prohibition from your employer, and you will subsequently have the assurance that you can go to work with peace of mind.
Even though a debt collector can call you at work in certain instances, there are still illegal tactics under the FDCPA that you can hold them accountable to. It is critical that you know your rights to stop any harassment from taking place. Here are a few illegal tactics:
If you have a debt collector who is using any of these tactics in an attempt to collect a debt from you, you can do several things.
You can request the debt collector cease and desist all further communication. Sending a debt collector a cease-and-desist notice stops the debt collector from contacting you any further. It is important to note that if you decide to take this route, the debt collector may move to start a lawsuit against you because they can no longer reach out to you. If this is the case, you will want to prepare yourself by learning how you need to respond to a lawsuit and your states laws regarding debt-collection lawsuits.
Sending a debt collector and a cease-and-desist letter is a great way to stop further harassment I'm taking place.
If they continue to contact you at work, you may file a complaint against them for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You will want to file a report with the relevant reporting agency. If the debt collector who's been reaching out to you violated any laws under the FDCPA, reach out to the appropriate reporting agencies and provide them with all documentation of their breaches of the law.
Even though it is legal for a debt collector to contact you at work in Texas, there are still specific steps that you can take to stop the harassment. We hope these tips and insights empower you to take the steps necessary to reach out to the debt collector to prevent them from communicating with you further.
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Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.