Start My Answer

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

Chloe Meltzer | December 07, 2023

Legal Expert
Chloe Meltzer, MA

Chloe Meltzer is an experienced content writer specializing in legal content creation. She holds a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, complemented by a Master’s in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Did you have a debt collector leave you a voicemail? Find out if that's legal.

If you are being targeted by a debt collector you may feel like they can take whatever measures to contact you. Being pursued for debt is exhausting, and debt collectors know that if they use tactics to push you to make payments on your debt.

Debt collectors might even call your family members, call you at work, and even threaten you with jail time. All of these are prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Despite this, many debt collectors will violate the regulations of the FDCPA without a second thought. Oftentimes you may even have proof of violations because they will leave threats in the form of a voicemail.

Know If a Debt Collector’s Voicemail Violates the FDCPA

If you have received a voicemail from a debt collector be sure to save it on your phone. This is a perfect piece of evidence to use in a countersuit. Although leaving a voicemail is not necessarily a violation of the FDCPA, there are a few ways that leaving voicemails are.

Voicemails on the Phone of a Family Member

Debt collectors should never be contacting one of your family members except for a few cases. The first is if they have attempted to contact you and have been unable to locate you. In this case, debt collectors are legally allowed to contact your family without stating that you owe money. They also may not use the name of their debt collection agency unless specifically requested.

Voicemails on a Shared Voicemail Box

Your personal information can never be disclosed to a third party as stated by the FDCPA. The only person to who your debt may be disclosed is your spouse. This means that debt collectors may not leave a voicemail message if it is shared with your employer, roommates, or even your children. If it is clear you share the voicemail with another person (other than your spouse) they will be in a clear violation of the FDCPA.

Voicemails on Your Work Line

Because debt collectors are not permitted to contact anyone other than you or your spouse, most often a debt collector is not allowed to leave voicemails at work. This is because typically a work phone will be accessed by other employees or your boss. Additionally, a debt collector may not contact you at work if they are aware it is inconvenient, or against the rules.

Countersue for Damages Made Available by FDCPA Lawsuits

Violating the FDCPA means that not only will the debt collector stop calling, but you can also countersue for damages. There are various forms of monetary damages available in FDCPA lawsuits.

Sue for Physical Distress

Because debt can be extremely stressful, you may encounter physical damage due to the entire situation of being pursued and harassed. The huge number of calls and letters may result in headaches, rashes, or heart problems.

When it comes to suing for physical damages you want to involve a qualified doctor. They should connect your health problems to the FDCPA violations and make a report. You may be able to cover the cost of your treatment and other damages along with it.

Sue for Emotional Distress

With countless telephone calls, it can hurt your emotions but also take a toll on your married or other relationships. If a debt collector violates and lets one of your family or friends know about your debt, this could even be detrimental to your relationship with them. You can sue on this account and recover damages because of it.

Sue for Lost Wages

When a debt collector calls and leaves a voicemail that disrupts the productivity of you, or your co-workers, it can cause loss of wages. This is grounds to sue and recover those lost wages.

Sue for Wage Garnishment Recovery

Wage garnishment is legal after obtaining a judgment. Despite this, any wage garnishment that has occurred after a debt collector has violated the FDCPA is not and can be recovered through an FDCPA lawsuit.

Do Not Allow a Debt Collector to Violate the FDCPA

Debt collectors may be somewhat aggressive, but there are rules they must follow. If you have a debt collector that is harassing you in any way, you should report them. Although they are legally allowed to leave you a voicemail, it can only be done on a private cell phone where they are sure it will not be heard by a third party. Do not stand for debt collectors that violate the FDCPA. Always save your voicemail messages and any proof that may be usable in court.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

Start My Answer

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

How to Answer a Summons for debt collection in all 50 states

Here's a list of guides on how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in each state:

The Ultimate 50 State Guide

Guides on how to resolve debt with every debt collector

Are you being sued by a debt collector? We’re making guides on how to resolve debt with each one.

Resolve your debt with your creditor

Some creditors, banks, and lenders have an internal collections department. If they come after you for a debt, Solosuit can still help you respond and resolve the debt. Here’s a list of guides on how to resolve debt with different creditors.

Settle your medical debt

Having a health challenge is stressful, but dealing medical debt on top of it is overwhelming. Here are some resources on how to manage medical debt.

Guides on arbitration

If the thought of going to court stresses you out, you’re not alone. Many Americans who are sued for credit card debt utilize a Motion to Compel Arbitration to push their case out of court and into arbitration.

Below are some resources on how to use an arbitration clause to your advantage and win a debt lawsuit.

Stop calls from debt collectors

Do you keep getting calls from an unknown number, only to realize that it’s a debt collector on the other line? If you’ve been called by any of the following numbers, chances are you have collectors coming after you, and we’ll tell you how to stop them.

Federal debt collection laws can protect you

Knowing your rights makes it easier to stand up for your rights. Below, we’ve compiled all our articles on federal debt collection laws that protect you from unfair practices.

Get debt relief in your state

We’ve created a specialized guide on how to find debt relief in all 50 states, complete with steps to take to find relief, state-specific resources, and more.

Debt collection laws in all 50 states

Debt collection laws vary by state, so we have compiled a guide to each state’s debt collection laws to make it easier for you to stand up for your rights—no matter where you live.

Statute of limitations on debt state guides

Like all debt collection laws, the statute of limitations on debt varies by state. So, we wrote a guide on each state’s statutes. Check it out below.

Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection by State (Best Guide)

Check the status of your court case

Don’t have time to go to your local courthouse to check the status of your case? We’ve created a guide on how to check the status of your case in every state, complete with online search tools and court directories.

How to stop wage garnishment in your state

Forgot to respond to your debt lawsuit? The judge may have ordered a default judgment against you, and with a default judgment, debt collectors can garnish your wages. Here are our guides on how to stop wage garnishment in all 50 states.

How to settle a debt in your state

Debt settlement is one of the most effective ways to resolve a debt and save money. We’ve created a guide on how to settle your debt in all 50 states. Find out how to settle in your state with a simple click and explore other debt settlement resources below.

How to settle with every debt collector

Not sure how to negotiate a debt settlement with a debt collector? We are creating guides to help you know how to start the settlement conversation and increase your chances of coming to an agreement with every debt collector.

Other debt settlement resources

Personal loan and debt relief reviews

We give a factual review of the following debt consolidation, debt settlement, and loan organizations and companies to help you make an informed decision before you take on a debt.

Civil law legal definitions

You can represent yourself in court. Save yourself the time and cost of finding an attorney, and use the following resources to understand legal definitions better and how they may apply to your case.

Get answers to these FAQs on debt collection

How-to debt guides

Learn more with these additional debt resources