Start My Answer

Help! A Debt Collector Is Calling My Work

Chloe Meltzer | October 19, 2022

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: Has a creditor been calling your work to collect on an old debt? Find out what debt collectors can and can't do when trying to get in touch over debt.

If a debt collector is calling about your debts then it is most likely because you have not made all of your payments. Once a debt goes into default, a creditor may attempt to hire a debt collector to collect that debt. These are third-party debt collectors who must abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This will determine if the debt collector is legally allowed to call you at work.

The FDCPA limits how debt collectors are allowed to communicate with consumers. It is not specifically illegal to call employees at work, but it is illegal to disclose your debt to other parties. It is also illegal to contact you at work if you are not allowed to receive personal calls. Once the debt collector is made aware of this, they must stop the calls. This can be done by simply asking them to stop calling, or doing so in writing.

Don't let debt collectors use shady tactics on you. Respond with SoloSuit.

Understanding the FDCPA

The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act is a law that governs how debt collectors are allowed to collect debts from you. They cannot approach you in any way that is unfair or deceptive. For example, if you are being pursued for a debt that you do not owe or it is in the wrong amount, you cannot be sued for it. You can dispute this type of debt.

The law also governs how debt collectors may speak to you. This involves using harassment, abusive language, and calling at odd hours of the day. They may not call you before 8 am and after 9 pm.

Debt collectors may not contact your employer, or let anyone else know about your debt. The only person they may disclose it to is your spouse if they are responsible. They also may not add any additional interest and fees that are not within the original creditor agreement.

Should the debt be timed barred, meaning it has gone past the statute of limitations, you cannot be sued for the debt as well. This period ranges from two to ten years, depending on the state you live in and the type of debt that you owe.

How debt collectors are allowed to contact you

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recently clarified how debt collectors are allowed to contact you. This involves how they may use texts, emails, and use other forms of digital communication. It also governs communication through social media and voicemails. The new rule requires debt collectors to give consumers a way to unsubscribe from electronic communication. There is also a limit to how often debt collectors can call you.

If a debt collector contacts you after you request no contact, then you can sue them. This would be a lawsuit brought against the collector for violating the FDCPA. The statutory damages can range up to $1,000 for each violation. You may also request payment for damages, attorney fees, and court costs as well.

File a response to debt collectors with SoloSuit and win your case.

Who is subject to the FDCPA?

Although the FDCPA does not specifically prevent debt collectors from calling you at work if they find out that it is not allowed they must stop. When it comes to a debt buyer or creditor, the FDCPA does not even cover these collections. This means that

Creditors are different from debt collectors. Creditors are the original company who loaned money to you or provided you with a credit line. Debt buyers specifically buy old and delinquent credit account before they attempt to collect them. They do not give out loans but only buy the accounts from creditors. This is because they do not meet the legal definition of what a debt collector is.

The FDCPA defines a "debt collector" as a person who uses commerce or mails to attempt to collect debts, or who regularly attempts to collect debts. Despite this, under the FDCPA, a debt buyer can easily fall under this definition of a debt collector. As long as their principal purpose is to collect debts, they may need to abide by these rules.

Make the right defense the right way with SoloSuit.

Protections from the FTCA

Although the FDCPA protects consumers, there is also a possibility that you may have protection from workplace collection calls. This is under the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA). The FTCA prohibits creditors from using unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) considers any type of collection calls at work to be a violation if they are aware that it is not allowed. This means that even if it is a debt buyer or creditor calling you, it may be a violation.

The main difference between the FDCP and the FTCA is that the FTCA does not allow you to sue a creditor for violations. Rather, you can make a complaint with the FTC, and then they will conduct an investigation.

Local and state laws

Each state and local jurisdictions have different laws. They may offer more protection from debt collectors or creditors. In some states, the law might provide for greater damages than what you might get with federal law.

What happens in a debt lawsuit?

If you have been given a summons, this is to notify you that you are being sued by a debt collector. You must not ignore this because otherwise, you might have a default judgment placed against you. Default judgments are awarded to a creditor or debt collector when you lose the case, or if you simply do not show up to your court case.

When a default judgment is awarded against you it allows the collector to garnish your wages, garnish your bank accounts, or place a lien on your property. To avoid this, respond to the date on the court papers you were served with.

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

Get Started

>>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 your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.

Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendant's Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouse's Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

You're Drowning in Debt — Here's How to Swim

Help! I'm Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Here's What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court