If you or a member of your family owes debt to a collection agency and that collection agency has your home telephone number, you can expect debt collectors to call your home frequently. Debt collectors use telephone communication in conjunction with other debt collection methods, such as sending collection letters and settlement offers, to increase their chances of recovering unpaid debts. Federal law dictates how, when and how often collectors can contact you via telephone.
Collection agencies must conduct business in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which governs the collection industry in the U.S. While the FDCPA does not set a legal limit on the number of times a debt collector can contact you within one 24-hour period, it does make it illegal for debt collectors to call you continuously if the company’s goal in doing so is to harass you or annoy you into paying off your debts merely to make the calls stop.
If you recently sent the collection agency a letter requesting that it validate your debt by sending you written proof of the account, no telephone calls are reasonable during this period. The law dictates that after receiving your letter requesting validation, the collection agency cannot call you or otherwise contact you until it provides you with the written validation you requested.
Collection calls are often inconvenient, but repetitive calls from debt collectors in certain situations can threaten your way of life. One example of this is a collection agency calling you at work. Taking several collection calls over the course of one day may seem reasonable enough at home, but several personal calls a day at work may violate workplace policy.
If collection calls at certain locations or times of day due are inconvenient for you, the FDCPA requires collection agencies to cease all calls at those locations or during the time periods you specify. Any additional collection calls you receive at previously noted inconvenient locations or times are unreasonable.
Ending Collection Calls
A collection agency can call you only as long as it has your permission to do so. If you revoke your permission by notifying the company in writing that it must stop calling you at any time or location, the FDCPA requires that the collection agency do so. Unlike merely limiting the times or locations a collection agency can reach you by phone, you must put a formal cease-and-desist order in writing. Should the collection agency ignore your requests that it stop calling you or only call you at certain times or locations, you can sue the company for violating the FDCPA.