Ask the Experts: Debt collectors calling about your employer

This question comes from Karen V.

She asks:

Can [a] debt collector call my personal residence regarding a debt my employer owes? I have been receiving multiple calls from a debt collector wanting to collection on a debt allegedly owed by the Company I work for. I answered the call to the debt collector, gave them the Company contact information, and asked them not to call my home or cell number again. This hasn’t worked and I am still receiving their calls… I can find information regarding who they can call if the debt were a personal debt of mine, but it isn’t. How can I stop them from calling my personal cell and personal residence numbers? I live in a separate state to where my employer is based.

Answer:

Hi Karen, this is Robin. I work as the Licensing Coordinator here at Apprisen. I graduated from law school, and although I work here and not as a practicing lawyer, I do have an interest in legal compliance and I feel like I can respond to your question. There are several laws that govern collectors who want to collect on a debt. The “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act” (FDCPA) is an important one.

When a collector calls you for the purpose of gathering location information about the employer who actually owes the debt, the FDCPA bars the collector from calling you more than once unless either you requested the collector to call back, or else the collector reasonably believes that your response was erroneous or incomplete, and that you now have the correct information. (See 15 USC 1692b §804(3)).

You say you gave the collector the location information and then told them not to call you again. That was the right thing to do. It is possible the collector reasonably believed your information was wrong and called one more time, to clarify. The law would permit that.  But the FDCPA does not permit a collector to call you “multiple times” for a debt you do not owe. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, if a debt collector is being unfair or harassing you, you can contact the CFPB, the Federal Trade Commission, or your own state’s attorney general. All three of those sources should be able to help you. You should be able to find them by following the hyperlinks I have provided, or by doing your own google search, and then you can file a complaint with them. I’m sorry to hear this has happened to you. I hope you can get everything resolved quickly.  Good luck!

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