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Can you call a debtor at their place of employment for collections?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2021 | collections

Trying to get someone to pay on a past-due debt can seem almost impossible. There are people who will go to extreme lengths to avoid their financial responsibilities.

If your business doesn’t treat collection activity as its main service provided, it might be hard for you to manage the balancing act between necessary collection aggression and dangerous violations of fair debt collection practices.

Finding a successful way to reach someone attempting to avoid repaying their debts can be one of the hardest parts of the process. When you get a phone number that works, you want to make contact and ask them to pay. Can you call them without the appropriate hours for collection activity if the number you have is for their place of employment?

You can call, but the debtor can ask you to stop

Federal rules on debt collection do not inherently ban the practice of reaching out to someone at work in an attempt to collect on a debt. You can call someone anywhere you can reach them, at least initially.

However, many companies restrict the ability of their staff members to take personal calls while on the clock. If a debtor that you call at work informs you that their job does not allow them to receive personal calls, then you will need to stop contacting them there.

Repeated attempts to reach someone at their place of employment when such efforts could endanger their employment could mean that they lose their job and also mean that you run afoul of fair debt collection practices.

Knowing the law and training your staff are compliance-critical issues

All debt collection activity is subject to strict regulation and oversight to protect the rights of consumers. If a creditor violates the rights of someone that they want to collect a debt from, their actions could lead to legal problems for the company in the future.

Penalties for debt collection violations include facing a civil lawsuit for damages or just $1,000 along with the court costs and attorney fees for the plaintiff. Those risks mean that knowing the law and ensuring that all of your staff members who engage in collection activity comply with it are crucial to your company’s reputation and solvency.