Debt Collection laws can be fairly confusing to the average
consumer. There is plenty of discussion about what a
collector can and cannot do and while certain conduct may fall into
a grey area, there is a list of actions that clearly fall under the
prohibited conduct of the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). Below is a
list of 10 things a collector cannot do or say in the process of
collecting a debt.
A debt collector cannot call you at your place of employment after
receiving notice that you are prohibited from receiving calls.
If a collector
contacts you at work and you notify the collector that you are
not allowed to receive calls during business hours, the collector
must cease all communication with you at your place of
employment…no ifs, ands or buts about it. A phone call at
work after you told the collector not to call you is a violation of
A collector is prohibited from making continuous and repeated calls
A collector cannot continue to contact you in a single day or
even multiple times a week. Multiple calls in a day or week
are considered a violation of the FDCPA.
A collector cannot call you early in the morning or late in the
A collector can only place collection calls to you after 8:00
a.m. or before 9:00 p.m. Any calls outside of these hours is
a violation of the statute.
A collector may not use abusive or profane language when
communicating with you.
A collector must always speak respectfully when communicating
with you in regards to collection of a debt. Use of obscene
or profane language is a violation of the statute.
A collector must send your written notification of the debt within
five days of the initial verbal communication.
After a collector contacts you, it must send an initial
collection letter with the exact amount owed and the name of the
original creditor. This letter must also include a statement
notifying you that you have the right to dispute the debt within 30
A debt collector must verify all disputed debts.
In response to a request for validation of a debt, the collector
must cease all collection efforts and validate your request to
verify the debt. Contacting you for collection without first
validating the legitimacy of the debt is a violation of the
A collector cannot communicate with your family, friends or
A collector is prohibited from
communicating with your family, friends and neighbors outside
of inquiring about your whereabouts and the collector may not
disclose any information regarding the debt or even that you owe
A collector must identify themselves.
A collector cannot misrepresent their true identity. He or
she must notifying you who they are and why they are calling and
failure to do so is a violation of the FDCPA.
A collector must disclose the exact amount of the debt owed.
A collector cannot collect any additional amount of money from
you that is not part of the original agreement. While
collection agencies can collect fees and interest it must be part
of the original agreement.
A collector must cease all communication with you after receiving a
written request to do so.
Upon receipt of a cease and desist letter, a collector must
respect your request to no longer contact you unless it is in
relation to a legal matter, such as serving you with notice of a