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Phone calls from debt collectors and creditors collecting debts can be annoying and, in some cases, illegal.

Especially if they are calling on weekends, holidays and other inconvenient times or calling the wrong person!

Phone Calls From Debt Collectors

Although the FDCPA does not specifically say how many times collectors can call, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published their interpretation of the law which says debt collectors may not call repeatedly or continuously under the circumstances. The FTC goes on to say that collection calls must be meaningful and for a legitimate purpose. In other words the calls must be for a productive purpose such as verifying information, following up on a previous conversation, arriving at an agreement and so forth. They cannot keep calling you repeatedly or continuously for the sole purpose of demanding payment; doing so so is harassment.

It’s important to note that creditors are exempt from this federal requirement however, your State Laws may prohibit this activity.

Bill collectors and debt collection agencies must follow the FDCPA rules when contacting you. They are allowed to contact you via, mail, phone, or email however, unless you give permission to do otherwise, they can only contact you under these specific conditions:

They can contact you at your place of residence by phone, mail, in person, by FAX or email during reasonable hours such as between 8 am and 9 P.M..

They cannot contact you at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to you.

They cannot contact you at work if your employer disapproves and they are informed of this fact by you or your employer.

Additionally, collectors cannot disclose any information about you or the debt to third parties (relatives, friends, neighbors, fellow workers and employers). They can call these people to verify location information and only if asked, reveal who they work for. Revealing who they work for does not mean that, once asked, they can discuss your case. Also, collectors clearly violate the FDCPA when they call these people more than once or call them after they already have your location information.

Calling On Holidays, Weekends and Days Off

The FDCPA says. “Collectors cannot contact you at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to you.” This is a bit vague leaving a lot of room for interpretation. The key to this statement is the words, “known to be inconvenient to you”. From your point of view, calling on Saturday or Sunday morning or in the middle of a holiday dinner is inconvenient and any reasonable person would know that.

Not all collectors are reasonable. Some have perfected the art of timing their calls for the most inconvenient time. These callers are adept at skirting around the boundaries of acceptable times and places. If you point out that it’s not a good time to talk, expect to provide a time when they can call back. If they ignore you and keep pressing their demand for payment then they quickly move toward illegal behavior. If this is their first call, then they have not violated the FDCPA by calling. However, continuing to press you after you’ve stated the call is inconvenient and provided a time to call back is a violation.

Save yourself a great deal of harassment. Either send a stop calling letter or tell collectors, on their very first call, when they can call. This means telling them the exact days, and times that are not inconvenient. Keep in mind that providing this information is acting in good faith.

For more information see: Harassment Abuse Tactics – FDCPA

Calling the Wrong Person
If you receive calls from collectors looking for someone who lived in the house or apartment before you, had the phone number you have now, or the person’s name is the same or similar to yours, here are some things you can do:

1. Do not take their harassment! Tape the calls and tell the caller that you are doing so for evidence of their illegal behavior and that you intend to file a complaint with your state attorney general and the FTC. Then, contact your State Attorney General’s consumer protection division, use this attorney-general link to locate yours and file a formal complaint. While you’re on the phone or the web site, ask if they can offer any assistance such as calling or sending the collector a written warning to stop harassing you. Also ask for a reference to any state laws that offer protection from harassment. Then, file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as well using their on-line complaint form

2. If they ask for your social security number DO NOT provide it. Not even part of it! Instead, have them tell you what number they are looking for and then you can verify whether it is or is not your number. If it is your number, and you believe there is a mistaken identity start thinking IDENTITY FRAUD and take action to protect your credit reports. Tell the collector you believe this might be fraud or ID theft Identity theft; how to prevent it and protect yourself! If the number is your SS number and the debt might be yours, then act in good faith and tell the collector so. Remember you still have the right to dispute the debt if, after discussing it, you believe it to be invalid.

Also be wary of credit scams and rip-off artists. Credit Fraud, how to avoid these top 10 credit fraud scams

If you believe you are a victim of unfair or illegal debt collection tactics, submit your information to a FREE* Fair Debt Lawyer by:

The debt collector may just be liable to you for statutory damages of up to $1,000, plus any actual damages suffered, plus attorney fees!

confidential informationThere may be instances where discussing your situation over a public forum could potentially compromise your interests. On these occasions we will contact you directly via email in order to answer your inquiry in a confidential manner.

9 comments

  1. Mortgage company collection dept. Calls at minimum 15 times a day starting as early as 6 am. They call all day Saturday and 1/2 day Sunday. I am trying to get it paid but they are really annoying me. What are my rights?

    • Sound$$$$$$ like you have right$$$$$ under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and depending on your state, other rights too. The TCPA provides for $500 or more PER CALL. Call 888-595-9111 NOW and lets get the process started, the Debt Help Lawyers here rely on winning to be paid or they work for free.

  2. I am receiving harassing phone calls on my job, on my cellphone and threatening emails at my job. These people are relentless, they are also having a computer generated voice call my job and cell. I have spoken to a woman who informed me that she has no idea what company I am supposed to be owing money to. As far as I am concerned any old debts were covered under my bankruptcy back in 2000. This company has acquired an old list of debts and is trying to force me to pay a debt the was deleted under my bankruptcy. How can I stop these people from calling me back to back to back and from different numbers?

    • Are you receiving letters? Start a call log so we can evaluate and determine if these are viable collection companies. Our fair debt rights review is at no cost to you. Gather these details and give us a call. 888-595-9111

      • I’ve already sent these calls and letters to your company. I got an email from your company saying that there is nothing that you can do because these companies are frauds and move around too much or keep changing their phone numbers.

        That really does not help me and the calls and letters keep coming to me, and now to my coworkers and my employer. I don’t know what to do. All of my delinquent accounts have been paid in full and those that I could not pay were covered under my bankruptcy back in 2000.

  3. My brother is getting harassing calls 3 times a day from a debt collector.They called him around 7:15 p.m. CST and I heard him tell the guy you called me 3 times at work today and apparently they don’t seem to care.That is very uncalled for he even told the guy ya’ll gonna get me fired from my job.
    Bill collectors take it to far..About 4 years ago I had an attorneys office contact me by mail over a debt I owed and on the letter it said this was an attempt to collect a debt basically using the tactics bill collectors use even threatened to sue me.I told them what I could afford to pay 20.00 a month said I had to pay 30.00 a month so it’s like ok we agree to pay what we can afford and they demand for what they want and threaten us.
    About 2 months ago I was getting a phone call for someone who had the phone before me.She apparently owed a debt claimed they had warrants out on her.The next person who called said she owed such and such debt.I told them from the get go I wasn’t that person and kept calling me I got fed up and changed my number.
    Then got a new number had a foreigner call me and said my husband owed this doctor bill was around 9,000.00 that didn’t sound right either.Because the bill is a little over 1,000.00 I was so mad because I don’t even know how he got my number I never gave that doctor my phone number neither did my husband.I told him I was changing my number and I did again shortly after I hung up on him
    It’s ridiculous how some bill collectors will lie and use scare tactics which is so wrong.It’s frustrating because it’s like we should have rights to protect us also.

  4. I was in ICU for 7 days and everyday the bank would call about my truck payment and my wife told them I was in there and I would call them when I was in recovery can I do anything about them ?

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